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Do you have anything in your life that you are working towards right now? Have you ever set goals and reached them because it gave more of a purpose to what you were doing? If you train, do you train with a purpose? Do you have a reason for the things that you put yourself through on a day-to day-basis? Personally, when I have a specific goal in mind, I feel that I can train at a much higher level each session, as opposed to feeling like I am simply just going through the motions. Now, I’m not saying that everyone has to train for a bodybuilding show, a powerlifting competition, a marathon, or a tough mudder, etc. What I am saying is that from what I have observed so far from being around goal-oriented people is that they possess the ability to train and perform with more purpose and passion, and can push much further than individuals who don’t.

This is something that I have noticed more frequently among people at our gym, as well as others that I follow on social media. For example, I have watched our gym owner go from being a  powerlifter, to a bodybuilder, and now a crossfitter! If you told me a year ago that David Allen would be doing crossfit, I would have laughed in your face, although I do still laugh a little now. Joking. In all seriousness, When David decided he was going to drop out from a powerlifting meet, I slowly began to see him lose interest in training. He didn’t really seem to have anything that he was working towards anymore, and you could see it reflect in his attitude towards training. Don’t get me wrong, as a business owner, it can probably become difficult to keep training a priority especially when you start to take an interest in other hobbies. However, a group of members at the gym are planning on doing a Tough Mudder in a couple of months, and I can tell it has sparked a passion to train hard again in many of these members. I have particularly noticed that David has become more disciplined in his training, and is running multiple times a week. Yes, you heard right! David Allen is running. David is a very goal-oriented person, and when a people set goals, it gives them something to work towards.

I can tell you that during my last training cycle, I set a goal early on in the year to hit a certain total at my competition, and it gave me a tremendous amount of drive to give it my all in every training session. I experienced many things during this prep that I have never experienced before. For example, I would experience visualization cues multiple times throughout the day of me lifting and they would occur all the way up until I would lay my head on my pillow for bed, and sometimes I would even dream about them. These visions weren’t just vague, general things, they were extremely detailed and felt almost as if they were real. I felt honed in on my lifting in a way that I never had before. Unfortunately, in the end I didn’t reach the goal that I had set for myself, but I didn’t have a terrible day either.

The point that I’m trying to drive home here is that I made a goal that I was intent on reaching, and in doing so, I was able to reach a higher level of training than I had ever experienced before. Not hitting that goal has only made me want it more. When I see other people set goals and work their butts off to achieve them, it inspires me to work even harder towards my goals. There is definitely something to be said for surrounding yourself by like-minded individuals to help you better reach your goals. When you are constantly around goal-oriented people, it only pushes you harder to set, and possibly even exceed your goals.

Again, I don’t want anyone to think that I am bashing them if they don’t have any physical goals set like a competition of some sort. Some people use the gym as an escape from their everyday life. It’s a relief for them, keeps them sane, and let’s not forget about the health benefits of staying active and physically moving. By all means, If you’re just training for health and to feel good, then keep on keeping on.

I pose a challenge to anyone that is reading this to set a goal for themselves. I want you to set a short-term and a long- term goal, and write out how you are going to reach both of those goals. Perhaps your short-term goal will bring you one step closer to reaching your long-term goal. Your goal can be anything. Drinking a gallon of water a day, getting an extra hour of sleep, reading a new book each month, or adding 50lbs to your squat. I want you to do this, and tell me about it. I want to know how setting this goal is going to help you work that much harder in reaching it. If you already have something that you do on a daily basis, I want you to put a reason and purpose behind it, and see if it doesn’t push you to work even harder at it. I want you to set a goal and reach it, and if you don’t I want to know why you think you didn’t.

I’ve been taught that when setting a goal, it is very helpful to use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. Make your goal something that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. These are great guidelines to use when setting a goal to make sure you can reach it. I hope that in doing this you can unlock some new potential within yourself to achieve things that you may have otherwise thought were impossible.

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