First, you need to write down specific goals, both long term and short term—don’t type them on a computer, but make it personal by using a pen and paper. Then review those goals every night before you go to bed. You need to internalize them and always keep them in your current state of awareness.
After you establish your goals, set specific and measurable ways to achieve those goals and set deadlines. The more precise you are, the better it is. For example, “I want to move up a weight class [seven kilograms] by December 1, 2012” is a specific and measurable goal. By comparison, “I want to be the biggest and strongest I can be” is worthless, as it is not specific and not measurable. If there is no deadline, you will procrastinate.
One great book on goal setting is 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman. In it the author provides practical, scientifically supported methods that will help ensure that you achieve your goals. You need to set goals that are “S.M.A.R.T,” says Wiseman, which means they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. Wiseman also advises you to tell your friends about your goals so they can help you achieve them, and to focus on how much better your life will be when you achieve your goals.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic medalists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.com. IM