Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years 2012

About a year ago, I posted about New Year's Resolutions:

"1) It's better to have a goal that's well-defined than vague. It's easier to add 25 pounds to your deadlift or lose 5 pounds than to "get stronger" or "lose some weight." Why? It's quantifiable. You know if you've done it or failed - there is no middle ground.

2) It's better to set goals of action than goals of results. If you do have a goal set, it's better to set one based on what you'll do than what you'll get. "I will add 25 pounds to my deadlift" is fine but you can't control that. "I'll follow this specific deadlifting program for 6 months" is better." "I'll eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day before I'm allowed to have any dessert" is better than "I'll lose 5 pounds" - you can control the first one, but it's hard to control the second. You can control what you do better than you can control what you get by doing so.

3) If you do have a goal that is results-based, set a series of milemarks along the way. Not 5 pounds by next year, but 1/2 pound per month every month until 2012. Not 25 pounds on your deadlift, but 2.5 pounds per cycle for 10 cycles. Bite-sized portions keep you from biting off more than you can chew."

So, how did you do?

How will your resolutions look this year? More of the same, or did you build a base you can advance from?

Make that #4 on that list:

4) Resolve to build a foundation for the future. Don't make a temporary resolution, or something that you can gain and then easily lose. What good is it to lose 25 pounds if you put them back on? Instead, resolve to build a base of habits that will get you where you will go.

- Exercise three times a week.

- Have no more than one bad meal in a row.

- Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal.

- Save 10% of your paycheck, rain or shine, sales or no sales.

- Slowly increase the efficacy of your workout (progressive overload of some kind).

This way, next year, you're not resolve to do the same things over again. Set a concrete set of actions down and make them habits. You may find you don't need resolutions if you do this.


  1. Some of what you describe we could call "process goals" rather than "goals."

    "I'll add 25lb to my deadlift" is a goal, "I'll do 48 deadlift workouts this year," is a process goal, it's part of the process of improving your deadlift - even if you don't lift more, you'll lift better with the practice.

    Some like to talk about our lives being in red/yellow/green light situations, red meaning "you're in trouble, stop!", yellow meaning, "some difficulty ahead, if you're already going keep going, if you haven't started, don't start now," and green meaning, "go!"

    Many of us, if we know our lives are going to be in a yellow light situation this year, a process goal is more attainable than an actual goal.

  2. @Kyle: I like the distinction: Process goals vs. goals. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.


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