I have discovered a powerful exercise to help you create a clear definition of what working hard means to you. If you can define it for yourself and live up to your own self-imposed, clear, and precise definition, you’ll have a better chance of getting results and being happy with your progress.

Take a few minutes to determine the specific actions and steps a person —just like you—must do on a consistent basis in order to achieve three different levels of physique development:

· a pretty darn good physique

· a great physique

· an absolutely amazing physique

This exercise sounds simple—but give it a try! Oftentimes, it’s the simplest things in life that make the biggest impact.

The specific words you use to describe the three different levels of accomplishment are not important. What is important is that you realize exactly what a person must do—or how hard he or she must work—to achieve those different levels requires varying degrees of effort. A client of mine that I took through the process labeled the different levels as “Mr. Pretty Good”; “Mr. Outstanding”; and “Mr. Machine.”

I took myself through this exercise and found it to be extremely enlightening. I sincerely hope it helps you reach your goals. With 12 weeks remaining before an important contest and the determination to work hard to become my best, I listed my own standards. I segregated what I felt “working hard” would be to me into three different groups: “to place in the top three”; ”to win the national championship”; and “to set a new standard for drug-free bodybuilders who have ever competed in the Team Universe.”

Not only did this exercise make me carefully and consciously outline what working hard at these different levels meant to me, it forced me to reconsider my previous definitions.

The end result was that I immediately raised my standards! Better yet, now that I was conscious of what kind of effort it would take to set a new and higher standard, I instantly began to follow through on many of those “outrageous” demands. I boxed myself in to total commitment—with little or no room for any excuses or rationalization.