Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Goal Setting: The Time is Now

In the January 1st Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, I wrote about “Successful Beginnings” and how the New Year is the traditional time for setting goals. I also pointed out that we are only kidding ourselves if we think our resolutions and goals can be achieved if they are not clearly defined.

I think back to a line in the movie, The Untouchables. Kevin Costner plays Elliot Ness, the idealistic but naive cop who dedicates himself to bringing down crime boss Al Capone. Getting Capone is a huge order in itself. But to compound its difficulty, the police department is rife with corruption, and Costner needs tough, capable cops that he can trust.

He discovers a rugged veteran beat cop played by Sean Connery. He tells Connery that he is determined to get Capone and needs help. Connery, an honest but cynical pro, asks the big question: “You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?

Fortunately, you and I do not have to go up against Al Capone. But when it comes to truly living a fitness lifestyle, we have to ask ourselves the same big question: What are we prepared to do?

Michael Masterson, writing in the wonderful e-zine, Early to Rise, suggests that the first 2 weeks of the New Year should be the time frame for serious planning and goal setting. That seems sensible to me. And now, the 2 weeks are up. It is almost mid-January and time to solidify our plans and commit ourselves to going about reaching our goals.

The next step

We should now write down realistic dates we intend to reach both our short- and long-term goals. Then, whatever our goals might be, we must find the best information and/or advisors that are available to help us coordinate and direct our energy.

If your goal is to obtain greater strength, better fitness, or to lose weight, look for guidance in qualified trainers; but also begin to read about and learn all that you can about practical fitness training. Beginners need reliable expert assistance. But from the start, they should also be educating themselves so they can eventually direct their own fitness lifestyle.

At the start, beginners may not think so, but that is truly the fun part.

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