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2008 Goal Setting

Walking into gyms around the city, it is easy to tell that the New Year is underway. The gym is filled with “resolutioners” determined to make this year “their year to get in shape!” While I applaud their efforts, I don’t know what is more comical, the number of years they have set out on this goal only to repeat themselves year after year OR the fact that I can almost always pick out which ones will not be in the gym next month.

I don’t mind if they don’t come back; in fact, I love it. One of the worst times of the year to work out is the month of January. There is nothing worse than a bunch of people in your way and wasting your time as they half-heartedly try and get focused to embark on a goal, only to quit 3 weeks later.

That brings me to this month’s article. What type of person will you be this year? Have you set goals yet? Do you have an idea about what kind of health or fitness level you want to reach this year? If you have, do you know how to go about those goals in the right way? If you haven’t, maybe you should think about setting some. Are you happy with your current health and fitness? Are you happy with the way you look and feel?

Many of you are probably sitting there wondering “how do I do it? How can I make my goal become a reality?” I am going to give you a little piece of advice that can go a long way this year in helping you attain the goals you have set for yourself.


That’s right, go out and buy a journal or a notebook. Make sure it is one of the really larger sized notebooks though because you are going to need it for the entire year. This notebook it your one way ticket to getting in shape this year. On the first page of the journal you are going to write a few things:

1)Your name
2)Your long term, year long, goal
3)Your short term, 3 month goal
4)Your stats (body weight, measurements, body fat percentage, strength on specific exercises, endurance, etc. Basically anything that you feel is important to measure and that will help you gauge your progress, or lack there of.)

After the first page, you are going to begin recording. You are going to want to record anything that will help you measure whether you are moving closer or further away from your goal.

The two most important things to record are going to be your workout and your diet.

For your workout, you are going to want to know
- Date
- Location of the workout (gym, backyard, home, mountain, street, etc)
- What you did (run, bike, lift weights)
- The amount you did (3 miles, 40 minutes, 25lbs/3 sets x 12 reps, etc)
- Any other info that may help you know where you stand (how you felt that day, were
you rested or tired, are you sore, etc).

For your diet, you would want to know things like:
- Date
- Number of meals eaten
- What you ate and drank at each meal
- Portion size
- Calories consumed at each meal
- Grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fats at each meal
- Total calories at the end of the day
- Total grams of carbohydrates, protein and fats at the end of the day
- How much water you drank that day

All of this information is vital towards reaching your goals this year, as it tells you what you are doing and whether or not it is working for you (don’t expect changes over night, things take time! Formulate a plan and then give it several weeks to see changes). As well, this journal keeps your accountable to yourself. If you aren’t hitting your goals or if you are a little depressed about things happening to slowly, you can look in your journal and see that you have missed 3 workouts that week and that your diet has not been perfect and you have been missing meals and eating too many calories. The journal keeps you honest and you can look back and see exactly where you went wrong and have strayed off course.

Will 2008 be your year? Or, will you be reading this same email next year? That is for you to decide. All I can do is give you the tools. If you don’t use them properly, then it is nobodies fault but your own. I hope that you can take this information and put it to good use.

Good luck with your goals,


This is a fantastic post, and should motivate more people to get serious about their health.

Funnily enough, when i scanned the list of 'things to write in your new journal', i thought 'Oh dear, that's alot'. But actually, these are all things i record on a daily basis and are vital to managing a diet and fitness overhaul.

Very thorough Patrick, thanks!

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