by Darin L. Steen
In working with well over 500 clients that have graduated from the Fat loss LifeStyle 12 Week Body Transformation System I have learned a lot about what motivates people to make lasting change.
One facet of most people’s fitness and fat loss programs that usually gets overlooked is goal setting. It is a fact that only 3 percent of the population has a goal that lasts past the second week in January. But you need to have something to shoot for. You also need a way to track your progress.
Below is a simple, usable goal-setting strategy that you can personalize for yourself.
Please know that if you do not work out with weights, focusing only on cardio, this technique will not work for you – even if you eat better.
Leverage is Key
What is leverage? It is something that gives you more strength or power than you would normally have.
In order to have leverage when you set a fitness goal you must have a precise goal, an exact deadline, and you must have emotions attached to the completion of the goal.
The goal is the “what,” and your emotions are the “why.”
When you have a what and a why, you have leverage. You have more power to consistently get your work-outs in. And you have more incentive to eat small healthy meals often.
You Must Get Emotional
Plugging in your emotional reasons for wanting to peak your fitness and fat loss is crucial. It is the why to the what. It does not matter what they are. Just make sure that they are real for you. Pick the top two or three emotional reasons why you must become healthier, leaner, stronger, and more energetic.
Preciseness is Paramount
You’ll want to make sure you have a very precise goal. An example of an ineffective goal would be “I want to lose some weight” or “I want to feel better”.
A better goal would be “I am going to lose 2 inches off my waist by such and such a date (some date six weeks into the future).
The Scale Does Not Work
Most people make the mistake of only using the scale to see if their fat loss program is working. The scale does not tell you the whole story. It will not tell you if you are replacing fat with muscle. It will not tell you if you are losing valuable water, muscle, or fat.
Ideally you should use a one site skin fold caliper kit. It is very quick, easy, and consistently accurate. Within one minute you will know your overall body fat percentage, fat weight, and lean body mass. Armed with this information you will be able to really tell if your fitness program is working.
If you are reluctant to use a skin fold caliper kit, at least use a tape measure and a scale.
A measurement around your waistline and a scale weight can let you know more than just using the scale. If the scale stays the same, but your waistline is less, then you know that you have gained muscle and lost fat. It’s not as precise as a skin fold caliper kit, but it is much better than just using a scale.
Below is an example of our goal setting tool that we use with our clients. It is called a commitment sheet. It is a commitment that you make to yourself, that ties everything together.
The commitment sheet above can be used by you. Just put in your own emotional elements. The goals are very doable by most fat loss clients.
As you can see, the commitment sheet is written in the present tense, as if you’ve already accomplished your goals.
Your homework now is to read the commitment sheet out loud, with a positive tone in your voice, three times, right before bed. Also read your commitment sheet right upon waking in the morning. There is power in the spoken word. So stand up tall, with good posture, and say it like you mean it.
At these times of the day you are in an alpha sleep state. This is a prime time for you to be more susceptible to auto suggestion or self hypnosis. Your mind will go over 12-15 times what you were thinking about at these two times as it “cleans the files” while you sleep.
If you really want to boost your goal setting power, focus on seeing your goal as if it has already been accomplished, and feel the emotion of accomplishment, having reached your goal. So one key is to see it, and feel it, like you have already accomplished it.
I highly suggest that you cut out the physique of a lean, muscular person out of a magazine or print one off of the computer. Cut out the silhouette of the body you want and put your head on it. It is important for you to see this often throughout the day.
I did this 15 years ago, and within 2 years I took my physique to a level that I never dreamt of, and became a drug-free-for-life competitive bodybuilder in the WNBF. It works.
What you are doing is working on your “faith muscle”, so that you can peak your fitness and health, and therefore peak in all the areas of your life at any age. This is a great mental and emotional exercise. Because what I have found for myself, my trainers, and my clients, is that once you believe something, with a sense of certainty deep down in your core, it will almost always become true.
That is what this commitment sheet can do for you. It is very powerful. I have seen well over 100 personal clients radically change their waistline, their lifestyle, and their lives by using this goal setting / visualization tool.
A fitness / fat loss lifestyle is the only true fountain of youth that exists. You DO have the power to change!!