Fitness Goals – Setting, Refining and Staying Focused…

Adam's Goal Index Cards

It’s kind of a cliche to get all into “goals” around January 1. Personally, I look at the beginning of a new year as the time to review what I’ve done over the past year, evaluate my current goals, set new ones and redirect or alter my life course as necessary. I work with my goals and with goal setting all year and often on a daily basis as I evaluate, re-evaluate and change and revise my goals. I don’t look at Jan 1 as a time to set goals and then forget them, I see it more as a logical time to increase my focus on my goals and I look at the beginning of the New Year as an ending of one time period and the beginning of another.

This year – 2012 – in particular seems to be shaping up to be particularly intense and productive in some really great ways – many old and unneeded or negative things are ending, many new, positive things are beginning, new goals and opportunities are coming into focus and positive change is pretty much pervasive in my life right now. That makes this New Year even more important to me and has me even more actively focused on the coming year. But, I do with my goals almost daily and think a very regular, year-round focus is the best way to get results.

This post gives you a number of different techniques and options for envisioning goals, setting them and creating something solid to review regularly to keep on track and check in on your progress. I’ve used all of these methods at one time or another and I still pretty much use all of them to varying degrees. My two favorites though, are the index cards and the MS Word document that I’ve talked about before.


Goal Setting – Going Multi-Media…

Something that I can get ridiculously excited about at times is this Web 2.0 world we live in. There are virtually ENDLESS opportunities to indulge our creativity when it comes to goal setting. You can pretty much find a picture or a video of just about anything you want to add to your goals…

Below is a new YouTube Playlist I started this morning. All you need is a user account to save the Playlist and you can create a collection (or multiple collections) of videos to watch when you need a little extra inspiration. Before working out is a great time to watch them…

My Inspirational YouTube Playlist

If pictures are more your thing, you can search ONLY images with Google. Here’s just part of the results I got for “Strongman Training.” Plenty of images to cut and past into a Word document or print out on photo paper and add to index cards.


Google results for "Strongman Training"


There’s also this site called You can create “boards” and “pin” pictures to them. You can also tag your pics so others can find the topics you’re posting on. You can also search for topics and see what others are posting and “re-pin” their pics to your boards. It’s a fun site and more and more of my Facebook friends are showing up on the site every day. I expect Pinterest to become a really popular and active site in the next year.


Pinterest Page Example


Of course, if you wanted to go “old school” you could just create an album on Facebook and put all your inspiration pics in there. You might even – GASP – print your pics out and keep them in a physical folder!



Speaking of Facebook, there’s this community called “Strong is the New Skinny” on there that can be inspiring and supportive every now and then…

Joking aside, getting yourself hooked into a good, supportive community is a GREAT way to share goals and stay on track. And the internet makes it ridiculously easy to find people who share your values and will support you in your goals. There’s no reason for anyone with an internet connection to go it alone – there are plenty of great groups and forums and other places online to find like-minded people 24-hours a day. In the past, I struggled with finding people who shared my niche and sometimes odd-ball interests. In the 21st Century though, there’s no reason to feel isolated because the people you encounter in your daily “bricks and mortar” world don’t share your values.

Reaching your goals and creating positive change in your life is very much dependent on having a good, supportive peer group that can encourage you, support you and that you can learn from. Humans are STRONGLY influenced by the other humans they interact with on both the conscious and subconscious levels. There’s a statistic that says we tend to earn within 10% one way or the other of the people closest to each other. I find this is usually the case. You can probably extrapolate that figure to fitness, health, happiness, satisfaction with life and almost any other life quality. You become like what and who you surround yourself with so be careful, be selective and be the kind of person other successful and positive people like to surround themselves with…

sins shirts at usapl 2010

Word Processor Documents…

You can always go with a simple old word processor document in a program like MS Word. Here’s a video I did at the beginning of this year as part of my first blog post on goal setting called: “Creating a Fitness Vision and Training Goals for the New Year.”

With a Word doc, it’s easy to add and expand it, print it out, etc. I still have my master vision in a Word doc, but I’ve come to find the index cards a little easier and faster to work with every day. I like the cards for every day reading and review to stay on track and the word processor document for higher level, more formal goal setting and planning…

BTW, my MS Word vision doc is up to 167 pages of pics and text! It’s 6,361 words, too! It definitely describes my ideal life and lifestyle in detail!

Creating Fitness Goals and Vision in MS Word

What’s even cooler about the Word doc is that, when I go back through the older drafts, I find that many things have actually happened! They’re not always present in my life in exactly the way I wrote them, but many, many things have come to be in a similar – or better way – than they were written!

Books and Magazines…

“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

– Benjamin Franklin

I just LOVE books! I have literally hundreds and hundreds of books. Below are just a couple of the books I’m currently reading or picking through. It’s an eclectic collection for sure and I find that just reading a few pages in a book about something I’m currently working on as a goal or project can really stimulate my thinking, creativity and enthusiasm.

I’ve made it a habit for years now to “feed my mind” every single morning with a good book that inspires or educates me. My morning routine since somewhere around 2006 has been to get up and have coffee with a good book on something I’m currently interested in. I don’t think I could even put a value on what that practice has brought to my life in positive payoff…

Books are great for getting motivated for goals

I’ve had a real love for magazines since I was a kid. Pretty early on in life I learned that virtually any interest you could possibly have had at least one – and likely several – magazines devoted to it. Now, in the 21st Century that’s more true than ever. Things have become more and more “niched down” and there are magazines that cater to virtually every interest. Yes, it’s true that the mainstream journalism markets have taken a beating, but niche journalism is doing great! And, many print magazines blur the line between online and offline by posting additional content online that connects with the print content.

Magaiznes for setting goals

I routinely scan pics in magazines to my computer and print them out on good photo paper for use on my cards. This card has a pic of a truck that has a VERY specific set of characteristics I want to keep in front of me and in my head for my own truck project.

Pre Runner Truck Goal Card

A good magazine is GREAT for giving you lots of pics to draw ideas and inspiration from and they can really help you find websites, products and other resources related to your interests that you’d likely never find through a search engine – because you wouldn’t know that they existed to look for them!

Making It Happen…

Two of the absolute greatest resources for goal setting and creating a larger vision for your life are the “Getting Things Done” books by David Allen and the CD set “The Time of Your Life” by Anthony Robbins. I recommend both very highly. I’ve personally worked with all these resources for years now. They tend to take on greater and deeper meaning for me as the years pass and I work through them over and over.

I consider “The Time of Your Life” by Robbins to have been an absolutely pivotal program for creating positive change in my life. EVERYTHING changed for me the morning I did the “Finding Your Vision” meditation on the second CD of Day 4. It was the first time I really “saw” and “felt” my life in the way I wanted it to be and in alignment with my deepest purpose and desires. Once I had a feel for that vision I began YEARS of positive changes that led me to end many things and begin many others. My involvement in CrossFit and Kettlebells, my career as a coach and trainer, my health and healing – as just a few examples – were a direct result of the work I did with that program…


Getting Things Done

Anthony Robbins TIme of Your Life

Is There Achievement Without Striving, Struggling and Stressing?

Michelle and I were just in yoga class tonight. The instructor was talking about – what else – goals and New Years resolutions… Her take was basically that last year she had all these goals and she was all motivated to go after them in 2011 – and very few of them materialized. So, THIS year, her goal was to “let life happen” and not try to control things too much. My first reaction was to give her a copy of “Getting Things Done…” (Actually, my FIRST reaction was to throw a copy at her head! šŸ˜› How very “yoga” of me…)

Michelle and I were talking about this after and the point came up about achievement without striving. My firm belief is that, when you’re on the path you need to be on and you’re aligned with your spirit’s deepest path and purpose, there won’t be a lot of stress and striving. Yeah there will be hard work, but it won’t have that frantic, caffeinated, stressful feeling to it – and it definitely won’t be draining and exhausting.

I can contrast my life now and the things in it – the great Strong is the New Skinny community on Facebook, all my martial arts friends, my great girlfriend, a successful eBook, etc. – with what things felt like when I was working a corporate job, doing graduate classes at night and trying to keep my too big and too expensive house afloat. Things flow pretty well for me now. I still have to work hard, but I don’t feel that exhausting and stressful pushing and striving like I once did when I was living a life that wasn’t aligned with who I am on a deep level. And, the places where I DO feel that negative striving and pushing feeling are actually the places where I’m cleaning up the mess that was my old life. They’re the things I’m working to settle and put to rest. The NEW stuff is flowing and unfolding pretty easily…

When you’re aligned with your TRUE purpose in life and you’re heading where you’re supposed to be heading, things have more of a tendency to flow…

I say the above just to provide some balance and insight. I truly belive that life IS NOT meant to be a struggle. If your life is an endless struggle – or feels like one more often than not – you should probably take a look at some of the deeper more spiritual levels of life like your path and your purpose.

As a little “bonus,” I’ll share a resource that had a profound impact on my life about 5 or so years ago. The resource is the CD Set “Prosperity – How to Apply Spiritual Laws To Create Health, Wealth, And Abundance In Your Life” by Randy Gage. If you’re interested in a spiritual – yet very down to earth and accessible – audio series on manifesting your goals and prosperity in your life, this set set is just awesome.

Now, Get to Work!

I’ve tried my best to give you plenty of options, resources, techniques and strategies for setting goals and staying focused on them. If you have others I didn’t mention, be sure to leave a comment to share it with me and the others who are reading this post.

That’s it for now. Good luck and may 2012 – and beyond – be a great time of positive achievement!



A letter to the year 2012

Other Posts You'll Like:

About Adam

Adam Farrah has been studying and experimenting with Paleo approaches to health, eating, living and moving since 2005. Connect with Adam on Google+


  1. Julie Waters says:

    Such great ideas!! As I started reading about saving pictures and ideas in a file, I immediately thought of Pinterest and then I saw you suggested it too!! I have so many friends who just started using it to organize all kinds of interests they have. And starting a youtube video library is such a great idea…I run across videos on FB and twitter all the time with fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, and a youtube library is a great way to keep them all in one place instead of searching through my bookmarks all the time. I just found you on a posting by “Strong is the New Skinny” page I follow on FB….So now I have your blog bookmarked!! Thanks for the great ideas….and here’s the 2012 as the best year ever!!

  2. Only have one word “INSPIRED” Adam!
    Thank you (:

  3. Thank you Adam, you are helping thousands!!! Happy & healthy new year!!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Some awesome ideas! I have never heard of I will have to check it out, cuz I have a ton of goals for this year! Of course, I’ve already checked out Strong is the New Skinny, and love the site!


  1. […] ā€“ Setting, Refining and Staying Focusedā€¦ / Posted on: December 30, – It’s kind of a cliche to get all into “goals” around January 1. […]

  2. […] a good time to think about your larger goals and how you might form them. Try this blog post Fitness Goals ā€“ Setting, Refining and Staying Focusedā€¦ We’ll also spend some time over January reviewing and updating our goal board. […]

  3. […] ‘Fitness Goals ā€“ Setting, Refining and Staying Focusedā€¦’, by Adam at Practical Paleolithic.Ā  I’veĀ heard a lot of you talking about how you’ve gotten off-track with your goals (yes, – I’m talking to you, Johnsy).Ā  AdamĀ provides some great tools and techniques for envisioning your goals, setting them and then creating something solid for regular review so you can stay on track, checkĀ in on your progress and stay motivated.Ā  What are you waiting for?Ā  […]

  4. […] that the things you DO choose to focus on are highly important TO YOU and are directly related to your bigger picture goals and […]

Speak Your Mind