If you want the best life you can live, it is time to set some goals. Ask any high achiever and they all will tell you the importance of setting goals. Goals give you focus. Goals can give clarity to daily tasks that need to be completed in order to accomplish your dream. Goals can be set for all areas of your life: fitness, relationships, career, or even for vacations. I’ve had many times when I was stuck and asked myself what I should be doing to achieve my goals. I wasn’t even sure why I was doing anything anymore. It is in these moments that I have to sit down and evaluate what I want my future to look like. Those are my goals and then I can work backward to find the daily tasks needed to accomplish them.
As physique goals are the most relatable, I will mainly use that as my example but you will be able to transfer this to other areas of your life. I also think you might be able to achieve more than one goal when you find some crossover between goals and daily activities.
Set a SMART Goal
A goal should meet a few criteria to be more beneficial. A typical goal might be: “I want bigger biceps.” This is a goal, but it is missing a few things. How much bigger? By when do you want this? How do measure progress? Lots of questions arise from this. Also, you are less likely to achieve a general goal because they lend themselves to lower motivation levels. Enter SMART.
A goal should be specific. Think about who needs to be involved to help you, what exactly are you trying to accomplish, determine obstacles, and ask yourself why this goal. Why do you want bigger arms? Is it to balance out your physique to be more competitive at your next show? Maybe you need a trainer or you need to book a training. An obstacle might be you can only train three times per week. This can get you thinking about your action plan at the same time.
Your goal needs to be measurable so you know whether you are accomplishing it or not. With bigger arms, pick a size you want. If you want to add an inch to your arms, then you know that a tape measure is going to be how you track progress. You might want to take body fat caliper sites as well, so you know you aren’t gaining fat. I don’t think you want to add one inch of fat to your arm.
This part is to ground you to be somewhat realistic, but also to make you question if you have the right tools to accomplish your goal. Maybe you need to find help. Are you in the middle of a cutting phase? Then your goal of growing some lean mass on your arms isn’t likely achievable. This section is not to discourage you from a goal, but to identify limitations you might have and come up with solutions.
Relevance is to make sure this is truly important for your broader physique goals. If increasing arm size is not going to advance you as a bodybuilder, maybe you shouldn’t be so focused on that. Maybe the broader goal for you is becoming leaner for your next contest. Bulking up really hard and chasing the tape measurements could be taking away from starting your contest prep in a leaner state.
You need to set a realistic time frame to achieve this goal. You probably won’t put an inch of lean mass on your arms in a month. Think about how advanced you are in your training to determine how long it should really take. Many have said it will take 20 lb of body weight to add an inch on the arms. What would that look like in terms of time?
The typical goal restated as a SMART goal: “To increase my arm size by one inch circumference without a change in body fat by October 31, 2019, to better improve the balance of my physique.” I know this seemed long winded to get to this goal, but along the way you would have identified actions that need to happen to achieve this goal. Those actions will be daily actions you can do that will add up over time to accomplish massive arms. Bodybuilding is all about stringing together consistent days, which all adds up to success. Don’t limit this goal setting to just your physique. Apply it to all areas of your life.