planning

How to Create Lasting Change This Year

(Set aside a good block of time to write down your goals) 

The start of a new year is always a great time to stop and reflect how much we’ve learned and accomplished in the past year – and set some new goals.

What are your major goals this year? 

Try this:

Imagine that at the end of this year, you meet some friends you haven’t seen in a very long time. Imagine that the look on their faces is that of total shock. Imagine their jaws hitting the floor, and not being able to continuously voice how much you’ve transformed. You already knew this would happen, because you planned it. You love this moment – it’s nothing but glorious. It’s one of the greatest signs to yourself that you’ve grown tremendously.

So what changes did you see in yourself when you imagined that?

For me, it is transforming my body. Having a body good enough to grace the cover of  Men’s Health magazine was something that I always wanted. I look back and see that I didn’t want it bad enough – I wasn’t willing to do everything it took to actually get a body like that.

I’ve been going to the gym for many years, so I’m pretty muscular. But I want to take my body to a new personal best. My biggest problem was that I wasn’t eating effectively (I wasn’t consistently getting enough quality calories and protein). I started planning all my nutrition to a science and saw that my previous habits of eating were detrimental to my body building goals. I was reminded that nutrition is 80% of body building, and that muscle is built outside of the gym, not at the gym.

My goal this year is to gain 20lbs of more muscle mass, while keeping my body fat under 10%.

So this year, what is that one major change you want to make?

Maybe you want to transform your body. Maybe it’s getting your style of clothing to a new level. Maybe it’s dramatically improving your social skills.

But we all know that it’s easy to set ambitious goals, the problem is sticking through and making that lasting change.

Here are 6 imperative keys to making sure you achieve your goal and make it stick:

1. Focus On ONE Major Goal

At the start of the year, most of us get too ambitious and write down too many goals. We want to transform our style, hit a new financial goal, find a wife, and so on.

With all these big goals in place, most people get overwhelmed and quit, or make snail-like progress on each goal.

Stick to ONE major goal. You can’t try to become a professional basketball player and professional swimmer at the same time. Your one goal should be priority and everything else should just supplement your top goal.

Trying to have more than one major goal is like trying to climb two mountain peaks at the same time, or trying to hit multiple archery targets – dead center – at the same time. Trying to hit more than one target at the same time will ensure that you miss all of them. Anybody with common sense would focus all the arrows in their quiver to hitting the bulls-eye mark of a single target. 

When you take the approach of immersion and focus on ONE major goal, you will achieve your goal with ten times more power and speed. You’ll also make an indefinite change rather than go back to your old habits – something that happens when you dabble.

Whatever your goal is, it should be on your mind every single day, as your major purpose, and almost every action should be focused around it.

When you do this you’ll consciously and subconsciously search for things that will serve you towards your goal. There is a part of our brain called the reticular activation system that helps see the things that we’re currently focus on. Have you ever noticed that when you buy a new car, you start to see it everywhere? In the same way, when you focus on one goal, you start to see things that will help you every step of the way.

For example, with working out, you’ll notice friends who are after the same goal and motivate each other. You’ll look for research on proper nutrition, you’ll focus on specific workout plans that will maximize gains, and you’ll find out ways to integrate certain routines into your life so it will take you no effort at all after awhile.

2. Consistently Fuel Your Burning Desire

If your goal is an ambitious one, unless you have a burning desire for it, you’re most likely not going to achieve it.

Most guys write down what they would “like” to have, not what they TRULY want. Most guys aren’t actually willing do go through everything it takes to achieve the goal they want. Just having and cherishing a goal is good enough for them.

I mean, who doesn’t want a nice body? Who doesn’t want to be able to attract beautiful women? Who doesn’t want more money? Who doesn’t want to travel to somewhere nice? All these things would be “pretty nice to have.”

If you want to achieve a big goal, it has to be a MUST and not just a SHOULD. You have to have enough REASONS.

There will inevitably be obstacles and road blocks, and only a burning desire, renewed hope, and persistence will get you past all the forces against you.

Every day I say to myself, “I MUST gain 20lbs, if I reach my goal I’ll have a hundred times more confidence to achieve another big goal! I mean, all the information is out there. You just have to FOLLOW the PRINCIPLES. If I can’t even do this… then what am I worth?”

Maybe you do have a desire for something, but perhaps it’s not a BURNING desire. How do you get that?

I battled with this question a lot during my college years, when I was trying to find a vocation I was passionate about like some of my friends. My problem was that I kept waiting for something to come and ignite the passion inside me, instead of going out there and fueling the fire myself.

Don’t get discouraged and quit even before you go after a goal, just because you feel that you don’t want it bad enough at the moment.

As long as you have that feeling inside of you that wants to change your normal desire into a BURNING desire, then this is a great start. Because from here you have the power to FUEL the fire. You have to get a truckload of gasoline and dump it all over the giant pile of wood before you light it, throw some dynamite in there too. Nuke the bastard. Do whatever it takes.

And the key is that you have to do this CONSISTENTLY.

The fire will always die down. Sometimes a strong storm will come and weaken the fire. But you have to put effort into keeping the fire alive. Don’t let it die. And how do you fuel the fire?

3. Set Yourself Up to Win

The reason why my weight goals failed last year is because I set myself up to lose. I went to the gym diligently but my system for consistently getting proper nutrition was weak. This was a huge mistake because nutrition is 80% of building your body, and I just wasn’t eating enough calories, and protein. I also felt like it wasn’t possible because I work with clients throughout the week and it’s hard to eat regularly.

Now I’ve taken the time to plan my nutrition down to a science, and what I’ll eat on days I have a client. I have a strict schedule and I also take a bunch of protein bars with me – which you’ll see me eating during a consultation if you ever see me.

a. Tell everyone what you plan on accomplishing

An amazing way to set yourself up to win is to tell as many people as you can about your goal. Don’t brag about it, but tell them that you’d really like to accomplish this goal this year and that you’re telling as many people as you can in order to create an environment of accountability.

This is great because every time you see one of these people they will most likely ask you how that goal of yours is going – which you’ll have to answer to.

If you’re slacking, the accountability you have set up will force you back on track, and if you’re making good progress then you’ll get a boost of self-esteem that will renew your enthusiasm to continue forward.

I jump on every chance I get to tell people that I’m going to gain 20lbs of muscle this year, and now I’ve just told hundreds of thousands of readers, which will reach millions over the course of the year – how can I fail now? I’ve just massively set myself up to win! :)

If I fail it’s not something I can just shrug off to myself, it’ll be an epic failure.

Some may feel that it’s more noble to show the world before you tell, but it really helps to tell your goal to a few select people that you really respect, and who you would want to keep your word with.

b. Visualize

I used to think that visualizing was a bunch of crap. But then I found out that it’s what most of the top athletes do everyday when training.

When we visualize something, our brain can’t tell the difference between whether it’s actually happening or not. This is why sometimes our dreams feel so real. Scientists have done experiments where they hooked up Olympic sprinters to brain wave sensors, and had them envision themselves running a race. They found that their brain waves were very similar as to when they were physically running out on a real track.

What this means is that you can continuously imagine the end result of our goal in your mind, and if you do it enough your brain will almost “program” your brain to look for ways as to actually making it happen in the real world. It’ll continuously work on create the action steps to getting there, and make you notice things that are in line with your goal.

If you want to stay motivated, this is so important. Consistently visualizing will keep you focused on your ONE major goal. You don’t really have to know how it works or why, just trust that it does, because it’s worked for me with countless goals, and has worked for the some of the top athletes, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and other successful people.

Really try to see your goal, feel yourself in the moment when you have achieve it, and to make it as clear and colorful as possible.

To help me visualize for my specific goal, I printed out a picture of my current body and placed it next to Ryan Reynold’s body so that I could see the difference. I used to think that I was pretty big, but seeing the difference reminds me how much I need to go.

I posted this picture on my wall in my bedroom so that every time I wake up it reminds me where I currently am on my path and how much further I have to go. I visualize so much that every time I’m at the gym now I just close my eyes and my new body just flashes before my eyes and ignites my burning desire again.

Hanging up magazine cutouts, photos, or something to help you see your goal not only set yourself up to win, but consistently fuels your motivation to keep going every morning.

c. Make your goal believable

Why did I choose Ryan Reynolds as my benchmark?

Well because he used to be a scrawny guy, and I was impressed with the way he bulked up for the movie Blade:Trinity. I really believe that if he could do it, then I could do it. I even research exactly how he trained and ate, and integrated that into my personal plan.

Even if you have a burning desire for your goal, if you don’t have the belief, you’ll lose motivation to follow it through.

My goal is to gain 20lbs this year. That’s only 1.6 lbs per month. Notice how I only said 20lbs, because to me this is much more believable than gaining 40lbs (which I’ve never done before. Because it seems so much easier I’m very confident that I can do this.

4. Articulate Your Root Desire

Most people feel good about having goals just because look nice on paper or sound nice when they tell others about it, but after the novelty wears off there isn’t a strong enough reason for them to follow through with it.

For example, if you want to transform your style this year, you have to get to the root of this desire. The reason I say “root” is because your goal is like a tree, if you can’t articulate your root desire, you’re like a tree with weak roots that will fall over on the first storm.

Finding your root desire is a great way to figure out what drives you. This is important because many times we spend so much time chasing the goal, that we forget why we’re after it in the first place. If you know your root desire, you can quickly remind yourself why you’re REALLY after the goal.

If your root desire is to have more confidence and get stronger attraction from women, and you really want that, then reminding yourself of your root reasons will renew your passion to achieve whatever your goal is.

Take a good look at something you’ve been successful with in the past, and break down what your root desire was. Maybe the root desire was to feel more significant, or to prove to yourself that you can do it just to measure your capabilities. Try to find what always motivated you and tie that into your major goal to add more fuel to your desire.

5. Be Hungry for Expert Knowledge

You will be the same person five years from now that you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Don’t just wait on experience to come to you, because all your years will be gone. There are millions of books and resources out there of people who achieved the same goal you’re after, and wrote down exactly how you can achieve it in the most effective and time-saving way that they’ve found.

Think about the time you were doing something wrong for so long, until you found the right way through a teacher, a book, a friend. Didn’t you wish you had known sooner?

My personal library is growing every month. I read at least an hour a day and finish about 1-2 books per week. Many books that I own have changed the way that I see the world, change who I am, or gave me answers to my most pressing questions. If it weren’t for the books I’ve read Kinowear would probably not exist.

Read all the books you can on topics that interest you, because even one book can save you years of struggle and replace them with years of happiness and prosperity.

6. Write Down a Definite Plan 

You have to be crystal clear on how you’re going to achieve your goal, leaving little room for uncertainty.

“10% of your time spent on planning will account for 90% of your success.” – Brian Tracy

The key is to WRITE everything down. Just having your goal in your head is not good enough – set yourself up to win and write it down on paper. Writing down your goals will give you a lot more focus and clarity.

Sometimes I’ll try to remember plans in my head or try to solve problems without writing things out and get stressed from the forming cloud of unorganized thoughts. As soon as I get a blank sheet of paper, and organize all my thoughts by writing them down, it’s like a fog is lifted from me and my mind just went through a complete cleansing.

Set aside at least a day or two to really create a definite plan on how you’ll achieve your goals. A plan will really help you measure and track your progress, which is of monumental importance to keep motivated. Remember to plan on paper or your computer so you can come back to it again and easily edit your plan.

If your goal is to really build your wardrobe this year, then you’re going to have to save up money. You need a plan for that. Maybe you’ll work longer hours, or do something on the side like sell stuff on eBay, or maybe you’ll cut down on expenses and save up money to spend on clothing each month. When you have a plan you’re more likely to succeed that 90% of the people out there who don’t have a plan.

If anything, get out a blank sheet of paper, and dump all your thoughts onto it. Write down everything you need to buy, people you need to talk to, decisions you need to make, research you have to do, calculations, projections, etc.

Then get out another blank sheet of paper and organize a to-do list. Prioritize this list and get started on the first item immediately. Then consistently review this plan at the end of each week and revise whatever isn’t working and improve on what you already practice.

If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely.”  - Henri Ducard

This year is all about transformations.

What’s your major goal for this year? Share with us in the comments!

  • ramesh

    i want to become a model, this year.

  • happy2009

    great article again, Jae!

    happy new year everyone and just go for it!!!!

  • http://www.terencesambowrites.blogspot.com Terence Sambo

    This is an amazing post…..thanx a lot for sharing this information. Most of us already know these things but we need to be constantly reminded.

  • Glowing Face Man

    I have two major goals this year, first is to pass the candidacy exams in my PhD program, second is to get the traffic at my blog up to 2000 visitors a day consistently. This post made me think about whether I’m crippling myself by having two major goals instead of one. Maybe I could combine the two into one by blogging about my efforts to pass the exams…

  • fgdfn

    “visualize” -> also see “ideomotoric training”

  • Francis

    Thanks for this great article Jae,

    my major goal for this year is becoming more healthy. That is eating well, sleeping better and even drinking more water. I agree with what you said about the gym. I hit the gym 3 times a week and I’m still very skinny. I’m not American skinny (which aint even that skinny), I’m 121lb skinny and no matter what workout I do I don’t put on weight because I’m not eating well enough and getting good quality calories and protein.

    I think if I can achieve this goal, everything else will fall into place. I’ll feel happier, fit into clothes better and just feel great about myself and my life and start attracting better things.

    Francis

  • http://deeferdinand.com Dee

    Jae.. thanks for a great article reminding all this. My life has totally changed when I did this. Give yourself a strong enough reason why you want to make the changes, and never try to make an excuse.

    You are responsible for your own success. Plus I see that people whom you associated with will shape your own path to the success so hanging out with the right kind of peer group will increase and hasten the success. I think gratitude will also help as one person that learn to be grateful will achieve more than those who just blame others or feel guilty.

    thanks for the great article

  • http://highschoolpuas.proboards83.com/index.cgi SenorBubbz

    I’m going to do Gymnastics. Lose weight and build muscle. I am too young for the gym (they don’t let me in) so I am looking for alternate ways to lose weight and gain muscle.

    Thanks for this great article btw!

  • CM

    Good points. You don’t need to spend an entire year to bulk up, though. I like to break my goals down into the seasons… bulk up in the fall, get a side business going in the winter, etc…

    this way you don’t wait an entire 12 months to get one goal… it’s just 12 weeks.

  • Phil

    My goal is to get in shape. I’m a lightweight but I know what it would mean to me if I got in good shape. So I’ll be hitting the gym at work starting next month.

    And I want my damn well-deserved raise, but it couldn’t come at a worst time:p

  • Mobi

    Great Post,as far as my personal Goal is concern, i would be a change Catylist in 2009.

  • Himmler

    Three words.

    Too. Many. Goals.

    I REALLY need to cut them down.

    XD

  • steve mcqueen

    Drop to 180 lbs., finish a triathlon, a marathon, hike machu picchu, and log in 1,200 hours working on a novel.

  • Neek

    Incredible post.
    Very good reminder of what should be consistently practiced.

  • sick

    hey!

    GREAT post. just what i needed to read! bookmarked sir!

    One request : can you write a post about nutrition? i want to change my body too but i don’t want to take protein powder or supplements jsut the natural way. it will take longer but in the long run i belive it is healthier.

    nevertheless,even if you use supplements, i think we will get a great deal out of your post!

    have a GREAT year!

  • CT

    Hey man great post, i always find the stuff you write about very useful. If theres any way you may be able to write a mini post and shed a little bit more light on your new eating habits i think that would be amazing. Im looking forward to the new year and i hope you have a great one.

  • nik

    I want to start a strong business this year and earn good constant income. I want to become rich in 5 years and very rich in 10. I keep wallpaper of Bentley to remind me of that aim each single day.

  • http://relativestrengthadvantage.com/paul-walkers-into-the-blue-workout-and-diet-program/ Yavor – Relative Strength Advantage

    Celebrities are always a great inspiration. Good move printing out those pics Jae

    Yavor

  • Abhi

    Wow Jae,

    it looks like we have the same exact goal. Im 170 right now and want to bulk up to 185. Ive been working out for the past 3 years, and i finally realized exactly what ive been doign wrong, and what i need to do instead. Also, my other goal of being more stylish will have to be postponed. Although i don’t know you, i have to say, uve given me advice on everything i want to know, and i salute you. Thanks for being a great role model. Can’t wait to hear about your progress.

    -Abhi

  • Kris

    Great post. The best part I liked was to focus on a single goal and have the burning desire for the same. Btw I liked the quote from Batman Begins at the end :)
    My goal this year is to lose 30 pounds and run a half marathon in less than 140 min.

  • Kevin

    great article jae, i have the same goal of gaining 20 lbs in muscle mass….
    its been hard though when i eat more then my friends that weight 280+,
    i still cant really gain, and all i eat is fast food yet cant gain,
    if u have any tips for me let me know!
    thanks

  • DB

    I keep coming back to review this post. Great work, very useful!

  • aa

    To graduate with an excellent degree

  • roger

    Great post!

    I realize that I can actually distill all of my current goals into a single goal which I can devote my entire focus on:

    Overcoming procrastination.

    Did you already write on this topic?

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