Generation Iron Goal Setting Dennis Wolf

Set goals and visualize what you want to become.

No one is going to argue that bodybuilding is hard, hard work. It takes time and energy at the gym; dedication and strategy in your diet; and tons of passion everywhere in between. It’s often overwhelming – especially if you are new to bodybuilding and have just decided to walk down that path. It’s a major life change – and with such a major change it is easy to give up. Even for more experienced athletes, if the results suddenly stop, it can be easy to fall off the wagon.

So how do you realize and actualize yourself as a bodybuilder. How can you make all of this more manageable? How can you stay motivated during the steepest of this uphill climb? You need to set goals. You need to have a plan. You need to visualize who and what you will become.

Today we are going to break down the importance of setting goals and how to successfully create goals for yourself. Hopefully with these tips and a lot of hard work – you will find yourself reaching a whole new level of athletic performance.

Deadlines are Essential

The first and most important ingredient to setting your goals is to have detailed and specific deadlines. Without deadlines there is no urgency. Without urgency – things don’t get done. If you just set vague goals and say “I want to reach that level eventually” – eventually will never come.

Try setting different levels of deadlines; short term, mid-term, and long term deadlines. Think daily vs. yearly. You should know exactly what you want to accomplish on a daily basis but also know what your long range goals are. This way you can ensure that your short term goals are effectively leading you towards the bigger strokes.

Deadlines should light a fire under your butt. It makes it so that you can never rest easy and assume that you’ll do better the next day. Of course, for your deadlines to be effective you have to know what sort of deadlines to make for yourself – which leads us to our next heading…

Be Flexible with your Deadlines – Not Your Goals

Your goals are the ultimate vision of what you want to become. It’s that ultimate version of yourself, your dream, the perfect incarnation of you. That should never be sacrificed. When you stumble, and you will stumble, this should never make you give up on your goals.

That being said, deadlines can be a little more flexible. Let’s say you are a little head strong with your first set of deadlines. You shot way past the mark of what you can achieve. That’s okay. Don’t give up – just readjust your deadlines based on what works and doesn’t work for you.

The deadlines can always change to best suit your needs – the goals must remain the same to prevent you from being to easy on yourself. As long as your deadlines continue to push you towards improvement and your goals – then you can shift them any way you want.

Walk Before You Run

When setting your goals and deadlines you should also try to be realistic with yourself. It’s always good to shoot past what your perceived limits are – the greats never got anywhere by telling themselves certain things are impossible. But at the same time you can’t get anywhere if you think you can suddenly jump up 200 lbs over night.

Setting goals that are too unrealistic will do nothing but discourage you. Set realistic training goals based on your age, experience, and ultimate vision. If you truly are just starting out – you can always adjust your deadlines to as you start to understand your body.

Just remember – don’t be easy on yourself. Keep the ultimate goal the same so the deadlines don’t turn into cushy pillows that you rest on. That’s just a waste of time.

Be Specific

It’s easy to say, “I want to be really buff.” or “I want to lose a ton of weight.” These vague keywords simply make your goals more elusive. If you want to start making your goals something that you can actually achieve – they need to be tangible.

Go for specifics such as: how many pounds do I want to lose or what is my specific goal physique? What kind of measurements do I want to have? Putting a specifics onto your goal suddenly make it possible. It allows you to visualize it more clearly and take you to that next level in your next workout.

When you walk into the gym have specifics in mind. Don’t just “hope for a good workout.” You should know what a good workout is before you even set food in the gym. Trust us, at the end of the day you will find you have more “good workouts” once you have those specifics set.

Never Put Caps on Your Goals or Deadlines

When you set a deadline or goal for yourself – it feels damn good when you finally achieve it. You congratulate yourself – and rightfully so. You’ve finally achieved something you set out to do. But don’t stop there. Don’t use a successfully met goal as an excuse to rest. If you think you can surpass it – then surpass it. Maybe you met your deadline, but perhaps that means you can adjust your deadline to an even greater high.

Like we said earlier – it’s always flexible. Don’t just stop. Evolve. Keep pushing yourself. If you can push past your goals – then you will feel even better.

Make Everything Tangible

It’s always good practice to right down your goals and deadlines. This way they become real. If it’s all just in your head – it’s easy to let them slip and disappear into the void of your thoughts. But if it’s written down – it won’t disappear unless you throw it away.

What kind of learner are you? If you are visual learner, visualize your goals and deadlines with calendars and charts. Are you a list person? Then make lists of everything you want to achieve and slowly check them off as you complete them.

Never Underestimate the Importance of NOW

Making a plan, setting deadlines, creating goals – these are all fantastic ways to make the entirety of your dream more manageable. But it’s easy to get lost in the planning. If you keep saying “I can’t start this until my plan is perfect.” or “I’ll eventually start step one of my plan.” – you’ll never actually start.

Eventually is something that never comes. The most important thing you can do in setting your goals is understand how to implement them NOW. Don’t be the person who says, “One day…” be the person who says “tomorrow” and “next week.” Don’t hope – know the when and where.

Don’t put your bodybuilding and fitness goals at the bottom of your to-do list. Rearrange your schedule – prioritize and stop procrastinating. This is the most important step in achieving greatness. The most important part in setting goals. If you can do all of this – you will find yourself on the right path towards progress. And it will feel so, so good.


What’s your fitness vision? What kind of techniques best actualize your goals? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. If you have any suggestions – be sure to share them! It might inspire someone else who is reading!

GI Team
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