I find it hard to believe that most people who set off on an exercise routine don't really know where they want to go with it. At the start of the 2010 I sat down and wrote out my training related goals for the year. I then broke this down into 3, 6, 9 and 12 month goals.
My major goal is to be competing next year at the BDFPA British Championships in the 90kg category. I am taking this year off to get ready for it and to increase my strength. I know what I need to do to qualify for the championships, but I don't want to JUST qualify, I want to go there and make an impact.
The goals below were set at the start of the year. I have set out certain weights I want to be lifting at certain points throughout the year. I set goals for March. I failed to reach two of them so I had to reassess and I changed my goals slightly. This is what they look like:
End of March 2010:
Bench: 140kg - I failed and made 135kg
Squat: 180kg - I passed and made 185kg
Deadlift: 240kg - I failed and made 232.5kg
End of June 2010:
Bench: 145kg - New goal of 140kg
Squat: 190kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 250kg - New goal of 240kg
End of September 2010:
Bench: 150kg - New goal of 145kg
Squat: 195kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 260kg - New goal of 250kg
End of 2010
Bench: 155kg - New goal of 150kg
Squat: 200kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 270kg - New goal of 260kg
As you can see, I failed to make certain lifts. I didn't sulk or give up because I failed, I keep going and strive to get stronger. When I test at the end of June, I will reassess my goals again then.
My point is this, set goals for yourself, long term ones and then break that down into short term ones. If you fail to reach the goal, you can reassess as I have and see what you can do to keep moving you forward and reach your next short term goals. It maybe that you surpass your goals, well done, reassess and maybe make your next goal a more challenging.
You must have goals, it gives you something to focus on, something to keep you driving forward, if you don't, then you will lose focus and most probably give up. This doesn't have to relate to just your training and exercising goals either, we should have goals set out in our life too.
'Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.'