Here is what this exercise will do for you:
· forces you to consciously account for everything you are currently doing to meet your personal goals
· forces you to re-evaluate what you are currently doing to meet your personal goals—and judge their effectiveness and your follow­through abilities
· creates a checklist so you can easily monitor your own follow­through (or lack of follow-through)
· forces you to take 100 percent responsibility for your actions and realize your destiny is in your control
· helps you to create more efficient guidelines and standards—which will lead to better improvement in a shorter period of time

You’ll Account for Everything You Are Currently Doing to Meet Your Personal Goals

Honestly assess your current standards. Are they high enough to get you where you want to go? The standards you set for yourself will determine what working hard means to you, but are your standards high enough for what you want to accomplish? This is the challenge I face when trying to help others figure out exactly why they are not progressing at the rate they think they should.

Honestly evaluating your standards is critical to your bodybuilding success! It’s important for you to honestly assess your standards before confusion, frustration, and complacency creep into your psyche.

I had a one-on-one phone consultation with a very ambitious bodybuilder/businessman who, just like you and me, believed he was working hard preparing for an upcoming contest. He was experienced, intelligent, and extremely motivated to do what he thought he must to place well in his show.

When he outlined exactly what he was doing to prepare for his contest, I immediately noticed he was only doing one session of cardiovascular training every day. Not that I feel it’s mandatory to do more than one cardiovascular session, mind you, but many competitive bodybuilders choose the two-a-day cardio session strategy.

“You know, many bodybuilders do two sessions of cardiovascular when getting in shape for a show,” I said. “Why are you only doing one? What’s your reasoning or strategy for only doing one session a day?”

After a few minutes of reflection, he answered was only doing one because of his extremely demanding business schedule. In addition to getting ready for his own bodybuilding contest, he was helping a couple of other competitors get ready as well. He was simultaneously running his own business, preparing to move the location of that business, and promoting a different upcoming bodybuilding show. Understandably, he simply didn’t feel he had enough time in his day for more cardiovascular training.

Do you think he thought he was doing everything he could to become his very best for his show? Yes. Do you think he believed he was working hard? You bet he did! And, yes, he was indeed working hard—according to how he set up what working hard meant to him. He was living up to his own standards.

Were his standards high enough to reach his ambitious goal of placing well in his upcoming national-level contest? After thinking about it, he came to the conclusion he was not working hard enough—at least to meet his contest goal. He believed that, if he had sacrificed some of his business productivity for a period of time, he could have—and should have—been working even harder.

Simply working hard to reach your personal bodybuilding goals may not be enough for you do so!

You Will Be Forced to Re-Evaluate What You Are Currently Doing to Meet Your Personal Goals

So, you feel you are working hard—but are not achieving the results you feel you deserve? Re-evaluate your standards! Although we may truly feel we are working hard, the standards we set for ourselves will determine the level of success we enjoy. Make sure your standards are demanding enough to get you where you really want to go.

You’ll Have a Checklist So You Can Easily Monitor Your Progress

Once you’ve taken the time to actually write down exactly what you must do to reach your goals, use the three different lists to monitor your level of commitment. Are you really doing everything you think you should? Review the three lists often to “anchor in” everything you are doing well. The lists can also serve as a nagging reminder when you are not doing enough and need to step up your efforts.

You Are Forced to Take 100 Percent Responsibility

Since you are the person who created the definitions and the standards on the three different lists, you have no one to blame but yourself if you don’t follow through. Putting the pressure on yourself to follow through is a common quality among all those who are successful.

You’ll Create More Efficient Guidelines and Standards

Chances are you may need to raise your standards and level of commitment after doing this exercise. I know I did! But although it may be a little bruising to your ego to admit you weren’t doing everything you needed to do to reach your goals, your body will benefit in the long run. You’ll benefit by producing more impressive improvements.