Dreams, resolutions, and goals. What’s the difference between these three? Why does it matter? I probably should have posted this on January 1st because it has that New Year’s resolutions feel to it. The truth is that goals should not only be set on at the beginning of the year. They can be set at any time and you need to have goals!
“Dream big.” “Never let go of your dreams.” “Dare to dream big.” “If you can dream it, you can do it.” These all sound nice and incredibly motivating and I suppose they can be. However, to me they set up a false reality. I think there is a step missing and it is vital! At your first job, you don’t become the boss the next day. In between scrubbing toilets and becoming the manager you have to work hard and prove yourself worthy. When you register for college you don’t automatically get to graduate. There are some steps in between that must be accomplished before you get all the glory of walking a stage in a dress and a ridiculous hat with a dangling tassel.
Dreams are just that, dreams. You have to take that idea, which might spark a passion or a dream and try to turn it into a reality. You need to determine the next steps to accomplish your dream. When that happens, your silly little dream has now become a goal, and that is a very good thing!
So you now you have a goal but you need to get smart about this! Not that kind of smart, (sorry, Steven Carell) this S.M.A.R.T. which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Now just hear me out, this is not beginning of my self-help book but this is important.
This past year I had a goal to squat and deadlift 365 pounds respectively. My goal was:
- Specific: It was precisely 365 lbs. not, “squat more weight.”
- Measurable: Throughout the year, I could squat and then know how close I was to my goal.
- Attainable: I knew that I could dedicate at least 4 days a week to working out in the gym and from everything I had read, that seemed like enough to accomplish my goal of 365.
- Realistic: The most I had ever squatted was around 325 at the beginning of 2015. That would be a 40 lb. increase in 12 months, or 3.33 lbs. per month. That definitely seemed realistic to me!
- Timely: I had to put a time limit on my goal otherwise there is no motivation to accomplish the 365 squat. My goal was a yearlong goal but I had some smaller goals along the way. For instance, I wanted to squat 345 by summer.
Now here’s the funny thing…I didn’t actually intentionally do this the s.m.a.r.t. way but it happened to follow that model.
Here is what I actually did to accomplish my goal.
- WRITE IT – I wrote it down on an index card and it lived on my night stand for a whole year. This either shows you my dedication or laziness when it comes to cleaning. Either way I was able to look back at my goal all throughout the year and which proved to be incredibly motivating.
- PLAN IT – I decided I was going to do some research on how to increase my squat numbers. I looked at several different lifting programs and also read a ton about eating to get stronger. I utilized two main training programs for 2015. I used Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program. I bought the eBook online at amazon 5/3/1 and his 2nd book Beyond 5/3/1. Both books are tremendous resources, I have read almost every article of his on com. 5/3/1 was extremely beneficial, especially during my busy times at work. The program doesn’t totally destroy you and it also makes sense if time in the gym is becoming an issue. I also utilized Cory Gregory’s Squat Every Day program. That made the single biggest leap in my squat training. I did that over the summer when I had more time and it was totally worth it! More on squatting every day another time.
- EXECUTE IT – Your plan isn’t worth much if you can’t execute. This is the hardest part but I also knew what I was capable of. I know getting in the gym four times a week was achievable. Getting stronger, losing weight, or gaining weight is always easier and more feasible when you are consistent.
Humans have been accomplishing great things throughout history (building the pyramids, going to the moon, creating the Xbox one) and you should too! What’s your goal? Do you have a plan? Make one! It’s worth it. Your journey to becoming healthier is only a dream but you can make it into a goal which leads to the realization of it. So live like a human and undertake something, something big – bigger than you can dream, achieve a goal.
Follow me @LivingHumanAgain on Instragram