We’ve learned since elementary school that goals are fantastic (no, I didn’t steal that line from School House Rock)! In fact, I want you to dig out your old goals sheet you wrote up in the fourth grade (I can’t be the only pack rat who keeps everything, right?) and see if you actually accomplished all the goals you set for yourself in the past. However, if your sheet looks anything like mine, it is a list full of things like ‘I wanna be the main character in a Nintendo game’ or ‘I wanna be the first 9-year-old NBA basketball player’ and my favorite, ‘I wanna look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by age 13’. While these goals were certainly unattainable, the main thing is that I dreamed big. This same principle can be applied to setting goals as an adult (although I still want to be the main character in a video game!). Below is my top five mental factors for achieving your goals.
5) NEVER STOP setting goals. I swear, if I didn’t have a reputation of health and fitness to uphold, I’d probably look like John Goodman (LOL….actually, that is probably true)! So to make sure I stay away from going down that road, I’m constantly setting fitness goals for myself to reach. Whether it be setting up a photo shoot to get in shape for, running a 5K or training for a bodybuilding competition (formerly. This particular goal flew the way of the Dodo bird two years ago!). The main thing is that mentally, I am always challenging myself so that when Thanksgiving rolls around, I don’t look like my mom has to make two meals: one for me and the other for the rest of my family!
4) WRITE DOWN your goals. Nothing serves as a better mental factor than seeing that list get smaller and the lines drawn through the goals you have accomplished! A good idea is to have your list somewhere that you can see it every day as a constant reminder. Also, if you only have one goal for the time being, you don’t have to keep a list where you can see it, instead, have a motivational saying or something that you came up with to help you achieve your goal like: ‘I am going to get in shape so I can be healthy for my family’ or ‘I am a champion, so I should train like one’. I used to use this tactic when training for a bodybuilding show. I wrote down a paragraph of motivational sayings and what I wanted to gain from the experience and hung it above my door. Everyday I would leave my room, that paragraph helped kick-start my day as it reminded me personally of how important my goal was.
3) REWARD YOURSELF after you accomplish your goals. Case in point, my cousin set a goal for himself to quit smoking. It took him several months, but when he did, he bought himself a brand new video camera. He told me that it served as motivation for him to quit because he needed a new camera. Think of something you need or want and tell yourself that you can’t get it until you have achieved your goal. This can be a great strategy mentally to reaching that golden cup!
2) TAKE BABY STEPS when setting a goal. Don’t write down a huge goal like becoming the next President and think you can dive in head first! Set your main goal and then set sub-goals underneath that as steps to reaching the big one. So, if you want to become President, your list may look like this: 1) Choose a party and register to vote. 2) Join a political club in high school or college (Young Republicans, Democrats) and become familiar with the party you support. 3) Take political science and business classes. 4) Apply for an internship to work with the governor in Washington D.C. You get the point. Of course, you will have to factor into this mix ‘become filthy rich to support my campaign’, but mainly, you have to take baby steps in order to reach the top because if you don’t, you will probably fail.
1) NEVER GIVE UP on your dream. I knew from a very young age that the path I have chosen in my life today was what I always wanted to do and I never let go of that. I started off taking small steps when I was about 13 years old. I started off doing calisthenic exercises and worked my way up to weights. I set a goal to enter a bodybuilding competition before I turned 20. So I found a local show to compete in and trained for it. After that, I set a goal to be in a magazine. I contacted some photographers and even though it took me a while, I finally accomplished it. I am very happy at how my life has turned out so far because I never gave up on my dream, no matter how hard it became at times. Living in a small town, in Utah no less, bodybuilding was not really accepted because you have to show off your body, but I have supportive parents who always encouraged me to do what I wanted, even though it was through grit teeth sometimes. I never let anyone stop me from doing something that I love and neither should you! Always remember that your life is about what you want and only you can be the master of your destiny, so continue to set goals and challenge yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed!