Goals are childish.
Goals are one of the first things you’re asked about when you get into fitness.
What are your goals?
A construction worker might wanna’ get rid of chronic back pain and get lean. A new father might wanna’ barbell and bodyweight train for muscle in the most time efficient way…maybe even from home.
A first year college kid might wanna’ sleep around without getting STDs.
You get the idea.
Goals are the Land of Oz to Dorothy. Movie would have sucked if there was no Land of Oz. No one cared about Toto and Aunt Em. The real action was with Oz the Great and Powerful.
Goals are the guide, but also childish.
A five year old has goals.
Mommy, mommy, I wanna bicycle!
We should rename goals for what they really are: wants. And wanting is easy. I want a lot of stuff.
I want one million dollars. I want an infinite supply of peanut butter. I want to drink imperial stouts. I want to look good naked. I want to deadlift 600 pounds and then immediately do ten consecutive backflips.
I got lots of goals.
And now that my goals are established…
Goals sit in the back skulls gathering cognitive dust. Because goals guide you to where you want to go, but they don’t tell you HOW to get there.
This is why you need systems.
Dorothy wanted to get to the Land of Oz. Cool. How was she going to get there? The yellow brick road.
Once you have goals, you need systems. The gist of a system = HOW you’re going to reach your goals.
Want to be more muscular. OK. How are you gonna’ make it happen? I’m going to go to the gym four days per week and touch a barbell in some way, shape, or form.
Want a more “X” shaped physique? OK. How are you gonna’ make it happen? I’m going to stop flat benching. I’m going to incline press at least once per week. I’m going to do rows with flared elbows once per week. I’m going to do chin-ups as if they were heroin (and I was a heroin addict).
Want to lose body fat? OK. How are you gonna’ make it happen? I’m going to start every meal with two fist sized portions of vegetables. I’m going to eat until I’m not hungry instead of until I’m full.
Starting to get a hang of the difference between goals and systems? Good. Because we aren’t done here. Not by a long shot.
It's one thing to identify a system. It's another thing to use a system.
And when it comes to using systems, most people make one giant mistake.
They rely too much on willpower.
Better systems = less willpower.
I'll explain it in full next time.