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The POWER of Setting GOALS

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The-POWER-of-Setting-GOALSGoal setting is your most underutilized tool in creating change. We’ve all seen the 30, 60 or 90 day “miracles” – People that have literally transformed their bodies and lives in a matter of weeks. Maybe you’ve even been watching the commercials and questioned whether or not this stuff is real. Is it even possible? How can people do what’s taken you years (and still not quite achieved) in a matter of days? Of course, the answer lies in the title of this post.

One of my favorite quotes is No pressure, No diamonds. Leverage can be a powerful ally when it comes to doing something you’ve never done before. Leverage moves society, it makes the world go ’round. We are leveraged by others every single day. So why not apply it where you probably need it most? It is so easy to get comfortable with the way things are. It is easy to tell yourself that you work hard and you deserve that extra piece of pizza or dessert all while trying to block out that distant, tiny voice in your head that demands the best of you. It is nice to think about doing something great or even bring it up a time or two in casual conversation, but that won’t do it for you.

Once you truly commit to something on the deepest level, your potential is limitless. So, how do you really commit to something rather than falling into the “January 1st Gang” like so many others? There are a few factors that absolutely have to be there in order for this time to be the time you actually follow through. Let’s take a look, shall we?


John Schaefer, Co-Founder at The CUT Method


1. Why? Why are you setting out to drop this weight or gain the muscle or any other goal under the sun? The reason has to run deep within you. Typically, if it’s a superficial reason revolving around something you’d “like” to do it won’t stick. Whenever I start working with someone for the first time, this is a step we take some time on. If the WHY is strong enough, the rest of the journey will unfold before you. It may sound a bit cliche, but I’ve seen it happen time and time again with my own goals and those of my clients.

2. Form your cocoon. We won’t get into some ethereal butterfly talk here. Instead, what I mean is that you must surround yourself with a positive, nurturing environment. It’s so important to set yourself up for success. Tell your family, your friends, your co-workers, your Meet-up groups – anyone and everyone in your immediate circles about what you are doing and going to accomplish. Of course, not everyone will provide the positive response we hoped for, but overall you’ll find the support you need. Make sure to set your homepage on your computer with something that inspires you. Subscribe to a few great magazines or an amazing website (ahem!)

3. Make public commitments. These commitments become especially effective when it’s something you can’t back out of. A great idea if your goals are fitness related is to set up your “after” shots with a photographer well in advance – and pay in advance! Again, the idea of all that money going to waste may provide some additional positive leverage and help you stick to what you set out to do when times get tough (they will get tough at points.) Once you’ve done that, go ahead and tell your circles that you’ve set up these pictures and will be posting them once taken. From here, you can really take it as far as you’d like. The point is to increase the amount of accountability you feel in every way possible. Is this comfortable? Absolutely not! Our lives begin to get exciting when things get a little uncomfortable.

4. Know that it is inevitable. The most successful athletes, businessmen and women, musicians, you name it – all knew what was coming before there was tangible evidence their goals would be achieved. Envisioning your goals becoming reality and allowing yourself to feel the feelings that come along with it is one of the most important pieces to achieving anything. The power of the human mind and spirit is phenomenal and I’m confident in telling you that you haven’t even scratched the surface of your potential.

5. Model your actions. Find someone who has done what you are setting out to do. 99% of the time, these people exist within your circles, have published books about exactly what they did or exist on the magical world wide web. Study what has worked for those before you and ASK QUESTIONS! I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m continually asking questions and studying what others I respect in the industry are different. If you’re continually open to new ideas and information and can place the ego aside, the world opens up to you and progress and change are yours.

6. Keep your goals short-term. Especially when starting out, make sure that your goals are 4 to 6 weeks out at a time. As humans, we need to continually build confidence, see results and gain supporting references that we CAN do what we set out to do. Keeping and meeting your short-term goals strengthens your resolve and allows you to truly believe in the process.

To sum it up, goals should be recognized as the powerful asset they are in helping you create change in your life. Apply as much leverage as you can with the tools we went over above and set yourself up for success. Remember that this is why we formed The CUT Method in the first place so please keep us in mind when you’re approaching a roadblock or can’t figure out how to push past a certain point. Keep your questions coming and I look forward to hearing about your goals and watching your progress along the way.

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About John Schaefer

John is a professional personal trainer with a degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University. He has trained and counseled hundreds of people over the last 15 years in fitness and nutrition. Founder of Cut Method, John specializes in changing the way people view fitness and nutrition as a whole to create rapid and lasting results both mentally and physically.


  1. BetterSelf10 says:

    My First Day to create a better exercise plan, a better body, a better self! Thanks in advance for your help!

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