You read that right. Like a lot of things in life, time changes your perspectives and, over the years, I have seen goal setting derail more good intentions than any other causative factor in the pursuit of health and fitness.
Let me explain. Goal setting is popular right now in the world of fitness. Being “fierce,” overcoming “haters,” living life on ones terms and so on, is very idealized. However, in the same way that individuals characterize themselves a unique when they get a tattoo, the popularity of tattoos would point to being more of a follower than a rainmaker. Goals are much the same. The idea is to be fierce and individual by setting up a goal and driving relentlessly toward that goal all the while affirming individuality. While that aim has its merits, so many athletes come and go who employ this approach. I believe in an alternate approach.
If your ambition is to win a few physique shows and quit, set some goals. If your desire is to lose 40 pounds, set a goal and do it. But, be ready to be back in average or even poor physical condition after your shows and to put weight back on after you lose that 40 pounds if you base your ambitions on goals. Alternatively, if you have an ambition to be HEALTHY and FIT for the long haul and enjoy the benefits of that life, the ONLY goal you should have is: DON’T QUIT. That’s it. Period. I would like to suggest that if your goal is anything else, don’t even waste your life getting started.
Being healthy and fit is definitely NOT a short term ambition. Imagine if you bought a car and made the decision to only get it serviced for the first 30,000 miles. You are guaranteed to not have car that will go 100,000 miles. Comparatively, if you want to just prepare for a show and then basically quit, you will lose muscle tone and vitality. So, why start? Just be average for the entire time and spend your time not “servicing” your chassis. The parallel being made is to illuminate the futility of setting any goal in your pursuit of health and fitness other than not quitting. Not quitting is a great goal but it doesn’t have a period at the end. Its an ellipsis.