Goal Setting 101: Creating A Vision!

Dreams, goals and potential are useless without having the ability to follow through with them. Learn why you should compose a vision, how to do it, and why you should read it every day.
When 2002 comes to an end, what will you have accomplished? What results have stemmed from all of your hard efforts? People have great potential. Human beings are the most remarkable and intelligent life form known to mankind. Sadly, what we as humans actually accomplish is rather disappointing. What you have achieved up to this point in time is not a result of what you can do, it is not a result of your potential, and it is actually a result of what you have done. What we must understand is that our level of success lies in what we actually get ourselves to do. What we actually act upon, believe in, and are passionate about. What we are willing to follow through with battling the struggles associated with the challenge in order to reach our goals.

Dreams, goals, and potential are useless without having the ability to follow through with them. We must continue to follow through, always stepping closer to our goals. Furthermore, we must do this consistently if we plan on achieving our dreams, goals, and utilizing our potential to the max.

If we could clearly see the rewards which are awaiting our hard work, perseverance, and consistency we would have an easier time staying motivated to follow through with our plan. Do you have a plan, or is your goal merely a dream?Planning is a must in order for success to occur. Actions, steps, motivation, intelligent decisions, and daily tasks are a necessity when planning to accomplish what we want most out of our lives. For most of us it will be bodybuilding and fitness related, ultimately for myself it is to become an IFBB Professional. Nonetheless, as Skip LaCour says "You've gotta see it first before you are going to ever achieve it!" This is true, outstanding success will more than likely not fall into your lap you are going to have to really, truly, and honestly believe it. We must believe in ourselves no matter what.

Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Story," the character Scrooge had the opportunity to travel through time allowing him to take a look into his future. This allowed him to see how his personal actions, steps, motivation, decisions, and daily tasks that he had taken over the years had shaped the outcome of his life. Scrooge had to be scared into changing his life for the better; he was able to see the horrid direction that he was heading for. Scrooge also changed because he saw how great life would be when he did the right things. The point of this story: Scrooge's guide, the ghost of Christmas future, showed Scrooge how great life would turn out to be if he only changed and began to follow through on the good actions, steps, intelligent decisions, and daily tasks thus creating a happy life for all.

Do you not wish that you too could get a sneak peek into the future allowing you to see first hand what is going to happen in 2003? Ever wonder if your efforts toward bodybuilding, fitness, training, sleeping, cardio and eating are going to payoff rewarding you with your bodybuilding related goals? Do you ever wonder if you will ever achieve your ultimate goals? How awesome would it be to know all of this in advance? Would life not be easier during really challenging times if you knew that you would meet all of your goals?

It would be really comforting for you to know that you were going to finally use the right strategies. These strategies would allow you to build the ultimate physique, the same physique that you have desired for as long as you can remember. You would now have peace of mind, pride, confidence and certainty in your corner. You would be 100% sure that all would work out fine. You would not even care that it would take you the entire year. You would be more than willing to try over 100 new techniques on your journey to making your goals come true.

Well let us not forget that we still have an imagination. Let us imagine that the ghost of Christmas future took us into the future. Not only did we take that amazing trip, we saw what we wanted to see (us meeting our goals). Now, knowing that you were going to reach your goals, how differently will you act? What will you do, will you be more patient knowing that you will be rewarded at the end of the year? Will you be more persistent knowing that hard work does payoff? Would anything be able to distract you and stand in your way of success? Do you ever think that you will miss another workout or cheat on your diet when you have made a promise to yourself that you would not let this happen?

If you were able to get a preview of how your life would flow during 2003 would you be more of a risk taker? Do you not think that you would have more courage and confidence? Would you not enjoy and cherish the bodybuilding journey much more? Creating this optimistic vision of 2003 will make the journey easier. Although it may be a fantasy, having an opportunity to see the future would be great. So let's go for it, use your mind to invent the bodybuilding (and life) journey which you are working toward experiencing this year. To do so you must create your own personal vision.

A vision is sort of like a mission statement. The vision which you should create is a mental image of what you are working on 2003. Your personal vision will constantly remind you of how you should or want to act on a consistent basis, day in and day out. Your vision should include the things that not only want to but also now see yourself accomplishing in 2003 (remember we took that trip with the ghost of the future). You can be brave and extend your vision including things that you are working toward accomplishing beyond the year 2003.

Make your vision short and concise. Written out, it should be a compilation of statements, encouraging words, phrases and reminders. You should constantly review these to assist you in staying on the right track. Limit your vision to 4-5 paragraphs consisting of goals, standards, daily actions, daily goals, and inspirational quotes. This will remind you to do these things in order to become who you ultimately want to be and accomplish in 2003. Review this vision daily to stay on track and focused.

10 Benefits Associated With Creating And Reviewing A Vision Daily

1. You are forced to create a plan when creating a vision.

How many individuals do you know that have really taken time out to decide what it is that they wish to attain from their efforts? Visions serve as guides to destinations. By investing a little time and creating a vision you will place yourself way ahead of others in your field. Creating a vision forces you to determine what you want to accomplish, where you want to be, and who you want to become when 2003 is over. The visions that I have created over the past year have had a massive impact on who I am becoming and where I am today. Taking the time out to determine where I want to go has placed me one step closer to reaching my ultimate destination as an IFBB Professional.

2. You will work in a more direct manner which saves time.

How much human resources such as time and energy have you spent working towards something? Notice that I said "something" and did not state a specific goal, when you have a vision and you review it daily, you are working in a focused manner. This will allow you to stop zigzagging and keeps you focused. Additionally, your vision reminds why you are committed to achieving what is so important to you throughout the year.

3. Visions allow you to make the right decisions, daily.

Once you have a vision you will find yourself making the "right choices." Intelligent, meaningful, goal oriented, focused and purpose-driven decisions will be made unconsciously. These things will begin to come automatically because your subconscious mind is suddenly aware of the implications that they will have on your future. Reviewing your vision daily, plants the concept in your subconscious mind, therefore you tend to work toward your goals without being consciously aware. Having a vision will assist you in staying away from ineffective, time-consuming methods that distract you and tend to run you off course.

4. You become accountable for your actions.

If you were to be reminded daily of how bad doing the things that will negatively affect are to reaching your goals how long do you think it would take to get you thinking straight again? Reading your vision everyday makes you become accountable for all of your actions. You do not forget about the promises that you have made to yourself. You constantly follow through with the actions, steps, motivation, intelligent decisions and daily tasks.

5. The challenging times that you encounter will become easier to work through.

Ever heard of the expressions "I am on an uphill battle, I take one step forward and two steps back, and I am fighting a losing battle"? These expressions are used when describing an endeavor that people have found to be extremely difficult. Do you feel this way sometimes in your bodybuilding journey? I personally know the familiar feeling having felt this way several times through my bodybuilding career! However, having a vision gave me confidence to stick with my theories and beliefs even when times were tough. A vision gives you the ability to hang in there even when it seems like the only one who believes in your capabilities, goals, and dreams are none other than yourself.

Believing in and consistently reviewing your vision gives you a unique ability which draws you toward accomplishing your goals instead of toward the everlasting uphill battle. Your vision makes your journey much more positive. People, in general, do not have a problem striving when things are going in the right direction, however, good times do not last forever. During every journey, or when you are pursuing anything that is worth having/accomplishing you will encounter the toughest of challenges. These challenges are known as the obstacles of life itself.

Setbacks can be injuries, feeling hopeless thinking that you have tried everything when trying to improve a certain body part, having influential-special people leave you because they do not fully support or understand your passion for the sport of bodybuilding, and placing below what you and others have expected in a bodybuilding competition. These setbacks can be devastating and may threaten your willing strive for excellence, but visions help you adjust to these setbacks and disappointing events. Creating your vision, believing in it, and reviewing it daily gives you the power to continue climbing to the summit of you destination, which is part of your dream in 2003.

6. Visions make you look for and find ways, which assist you in meting your goals.

The individuals that try "just once more" are the people who eventually reach ultimate success. Creating and reviewing a vision everyday unleashes the genius inside. You suddenly find ways and have great ideas that assist you in reaching your goals. These ways make it possible to continue to work toward your ultimate goals day in and day out. No more excuses!

7. You find ways to overcome difficult and frustrating challenges.

Persistence is needed in order to reach your goals. The creative genius in us all comes alive when we review our vision daily and you will find solutions to inevitable problems and challenges which occur along the way.

8. People become valuable assets to you.

Being in the right company this year will assist you in getting every ounce of opportunity out of 2003. A vision allows you to effectively utilize people in your life to assist you in achieving your dreams. You instinctively know who must be removed or avoided from your life never allowing them to steer you wrong.

9. Visions allow you to realize what you have already accomplished and appreciate these accomplishments.

Reviewing your vision will allow you to realize that you are steadily making progress and will someday reach your goals. Realizing what you have already accomplished through reading your vision will "pump you up" when you have failed to recognize how much you have already accomplished. Most people fail to appreciate the victories that they experience. Creating a vision and realizing that we will not just wake up one day and be where we want to be, you will learn to appreciate what you have or are achieving along the way to your ultimate goal.

10. You will enjoy striving for your goals.

Creating a vision and reviewing it daily saves time, allows you to work in a concise manner, make the right decisions, find solutions to any obstacle, remain optimistic, enlist help from others, and appreciate your accomplishments through your journey. Having a vision and following this method leaves little to no doubt that you will enjoy the journey of 2003. This is what having and reviewing a vision will do for you so sit down focus and create your vision. It is never too late but now is a great time to begin as 2003 has just begun.

Composing A "Vision"

When composing your vision I encourage you to brainstorm and randomly jot down any ideas, thoughts, dreams and/or goals that come to mind. Dare to dream, dreaming of everything that motivates you to strive toward your goals on a consistent basis. Including the following may assist you in developing an awesome vision.

1) Listing out all of the reasons why you are seriously committed to reaching your goals in 2003. Most choose to do what they do to get a certain feeling. I ask you, why are you motivated to chase your dreams and goals? Is it because you want to do something that is meaningful to you? Do you want to make an impact on others through your life? Will achieving your goals give you pride and honor toward yourself? Do you have something to prove? Whatever your reasons are, take time to sit down and list the most important reasons that have significant meaning to you. These reasons keep you motivated throughout the year.

2) List the major steps and actions that you must complete to get to your ultimate destination in 2003. On your journey, there will be certain key steps and actions that you will have to take. When creating your vision it is important to recognize a few of these actions and steps.

3) Recognize your ultimate purpose for working hard in 2003. Using myself for an example, one of my goals in 2003 is to place in the top-5 at the 2003 NPC Team Universe. My ultimate reasoning/purpose for doing this is to have more belief in my capabilities, build on my reputation as a natural bodybuilder/writer for bodybuilding.com, prove to the world that natural bodybuilders willing to give their lives to the sport can make it, and to please my fans. Be sure of exactly what you want to achieve in 2003 before all is said and done. You cannot hit a target without having a bull's-eye to aim for.

Statement Examples Of A Vision

These examples may stimulate you when generating your list of statements when creating your personal vision. Including meaningful personal mottos and catch phrases you like to live by can be useful. This example is from on of Skip LaCour's mottos:

Skip LaCour"I work hard, train hard, and play hard! I squeeze every ounce of juice out of life! I absolutely LOVE what I do; I am passionate about what I do; I am great at what I do; and I help others by doing what I love to do."


"I feed my body-with food, water, and supplements-with discipline, consistency, and intelligence. I feed my body to build muscle, stay lean, and look awesome as a health and fitness authority would each and every day."

You can also add what Skip LaCour calls his "High Five" which are basically his top five goals that he is striving to reach in 2003. This is an example from Skip LaCour's website.

Skip's High-Five

  1. Train heavily and challenge myself to train heavier each and every workout. Train with focus, passion, and intensity.
  2. Constantly strive for a better, more effective range-of-motion during every set.
  3. Work every set to true, undeniable absolute failure.
  4. Push my cardiovascular training to be just as effective and efficient as my weight training.
  5. Support my weight training and cardiovascular training with exceptional nutritional and supplementation habits. Drink at least two gallons of water a day.

Personal Code Of Conduct

You should have a "personal code of conduct" as Skip calls it. This is something that you will meticulously follow every day no matter what! Below is an example:

"I am in total control of my emotional state at all times. I am a master at consciously controlling my mental focus, physiology, vocabulary, and the questions I ask myself. I determine what events mean to me in good times and in bad. "It's ALL attitude!" I understand and appreciate the "power" I possess. I carry myself with certainty and confidence at all times. I realize the difference between success and failure; happiness and unhappiness; who I will ultimately become and who I fall short of becoming; the respect and advantages people give me in life or do not give me all comes down to my attitude. Again, "It's ALL attitude!""

Reinforcing the qualities that you want to exude through your character every single day is also important. An example of this is below:

"I, (your name here), am a person of integrity with a good attitude and specific goals. I have a high energy level, am enthusiastic, and take pride in my appearance and what I do. I have a sense of humor, lots of faith, wisdom, and the vision, empathy, and courage to use my talents effectively. I have character and am knowledgeable. My convictions are strong and I have a healthy self-image, a passion for what is right, and a solid hope for the future. I live my life with no fear!"

Recognizing that things that you would like to improve upon can also be beneficial when creating your vision. Below is a personal statement:

"I must constantly remember what my goal for the 2003 competitive year is (Top 5 NPC Team Universe)! I must present myself as a National level bodybuilder. I need to be assertive, proud, maintain eye contact, realize who I am becoming and live it out. I need to do this to be where I want to be next year and to represent myself as well as sponsors, Bodybuilding.com with honor."

I encourage you not to procrastinate, 2003 is upon us NOW! Do not focus on composing a literary masterpiece; effective visions are a series of meaningful phrases. A vision's main intent is to remind you daily what it is exactly that you are attempting to accomplish this year. Perhaps the most important aspect of this process is to review Your Vision consistently, every day. Make reviewing your vision a daily habit. If this is a difficult task it will not be done daily as it is supposed to be done. Therefore, you should make your entire vision statement short, meaningful and concise. It should be able to be read in a few minutes. Skip LaCour reads his vision during his cardiovascular training. It takes him about 5 minutes to review his statements daily. I like to think mine through during cardio, training sessions, and before going to bed.

Once you begin and you see yourself making steady accomplishments you will attain an unbelievable feeling and really believe in using this vision technique. Success holds a long, tough, winding and seemingly never-ending path. Reviewing your vision statement regularly (daily) allows you to notice that you are making progress and gives you the pride and strength that you need to carry on.

You can begin to watch your awesome future become a reality as early as tomorrow morning by following through this exercise and creating a vision. Set aside a time when you are most enthusiastic and begin to create your vision now!


LaCour, S. Setting goals for 2003. http://www.skiplacour.com/. Dec. 24th 2002.