We all have fitness goals to varying degrees, but some people are more ambitious to achieve them than others. This is because people have different levels of desire (Arnold Schwarzenegger called this 'want power'), knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and support. And it’s also because some people use the techniques of goal-setting and visualisation more effectively than others.
Let’s take weight-loss as an example, although it could equally be a goal for muscle growth, or improving your performance in your favourite sport.
Read the three statements below, and see which one sounds most like you.
Ambition Level 1:
“I really want to lose weight, and I’m trying hard to eat less and exercise more, but the weight won’t shift. I’m not sure exactly how much weight I want to lose, and to be honest I can’t really imagine myself as slim, but I’ll keep trying. I’ve only told a couple of people that I’m trying to lose weight, because I don’t want to be regarded as a failure if the weight doesn’t come off. If I don’t manage to lose weight, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”
Ambition Level 2:
“I want to lose a stone (around 7 kg) in weight, but I don’t want to put myself under the pressure of setting a date. After all, there are lots of social events coming up, and I’m very busy at work, so there’s no point putting a deadline on it. I’ve taken some advice from a personal trainer at my gym, so I’ve got an workout routine and eating plan to follow, and so far I’m sticking to it whenever I can (about half the time hehe). I’ve told everyone to encourage me to lose the weight, which is helping a lot. I’ll get there eventually (hopefully).”
Ambition Level 3:
“I want to lose a stone (6.4kg) in weight in 14 weeks from today, so that means I’ll lose an average of 1lb a week, and I’ll reach my target weight by Wednesday 30th November. I’ve got a burning desire to get there this time, and I’ve got a workout and eating plan mapped out. Everyone knows I want to lose this stone, and if anyone tries to knock me off course they’ll get an earful. My fitness regime includes lots of thing I like doing, so I won’t get bored. And my eating plan is varied and full of tasty meals and snacks so I won’t feel deprived. Every night before I go to sleep I visualise my new body, and I go through all the reasons why I want to lose this weight (I’ve got 8 reasons, written on a sheet of paper and pinned up on the fridge). I can see myself in my mind’s eye, one stone lighter, and this spurs me on. Once a week I’ll weigh myself and keep track of my progress. No more excuses, I’m going to do it this time.”
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London with over 16 years' experience. He trains clients within zones 1-3, mainly in Farringdon, Islington, Chelsea, Belgravia, and Hampstead.)