It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m currently mentally preparing for my final legs session of 2015. With a lot of food in my belly from the last few weeks festivities, I am fully loving training and lifting the heaviest I ever have. So, with a break from work and some extra time to reflect, and with seeing lots of people posting about their goals, resolutions and reflections of 2015, I thought I’d touch on what I think works when it comes to setting your goals, and sticking to them.
Number one (prepare yourself for an Arnie classic here) – ignore the naysayers.
Whatever your goal or resolution, there will be plenty of people that disagree with what you’re doing. I’ve been told I’ll fail, that ‘men don’t like muscles’, that I’m boring, blah blah. IGNORE IT. People who don’t understand will criticise you. And that will never stop. But as your mum told you when you were 10 and getting picked on for having big ears that poked through your hair (alright maybe that was just. me), rise above it. I certainly don’t care what those other 10 year olds think of me now, or what those people that called me boring do for that matter. Because they’re probably currently blind drunk and forgetting the best days of their life.
Number two – be honest in everything you do
Shout your goals from the rooftops. Tell the world what you plan to do. And more importantly, be honest with yourself. If you don’t achieve something, be honest about why. Could you have done more? Was it out with your control? Being able to be honest about your successes and stumbles will only help you achieve the end goal. If your goal is fat loss, don’t lie about that ‘serving size’ of peanut butter you ate (WE ALL KNOW YOU HAD AN EXTRA SPOON), you’re only cheating yourself. Be honest and accountable. One thing girls always tell me is that they appreciate my honesty, from my sharing of binges (ok yes, I ate 5000kcal in one sitting, on prep, and hated myself for it), to my love of science and other cool things.
Number three – be proud 
Always be proud of everything you do. Whether you achieve your goals or not, be proud of the journey and proud that you took the steps to better yourself or others. There is no shame in being proud of yourself, likelihood is, you’re pretty damn awesome. You’re already one step ahead of those people with no goals, no passion, no resolutions. Be proud of that. You’re determined, optimistic and driven, and that alone is something to shout about. After all, if you can’t say it, who will? 
Number four – prepare to lose
I don’t mean lose your goals. I mean, prepare to lose some aspects of your life that just don’t fit anymore. The sacrifices you make to achieve your goals, be they big or small, will become apparent as you progress towards your final goal. One of the major lessons I’ve learned through competing and my crazy PhD and work life, is that something’s gotta give. For me, it has been my old social life. My partying, dinners ability to handle tequila and sadly some friends, all massively reduced. I wasn’t really prepared for that, but I’m so used to it now that I can defend it when I need to, and can justify it to those that matter, mainly myself. If you’re not willing to give up something to achieve something more, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Is the end goal worth it? There’s no right answer here. Only you know what you’re willing to give up to make things happen. The best thing from this though, is that the things that stick with you, the people who stick with you, mean far more to you than ever before. These people are gold dust, don’t ever undervalue them. 
Number five – enjoy the journey 
The goal is great, but the journey is the part in which you’ll spend most of your time. Stop dreaming about the post show pizza, the post weight loss dress, the new job salary. Embrace every step you’re taking to get there. Embrace the fact that you are disciplined enough to diet, that you’re motivated enough to work those extra hours to get the job done, the assignment in, the leg session completed even though you’re exhausted and crying in to the squat rack (surely that’s not just me…). That takes guts, willpower and determination that not many have. Appreciate that. You’re already doing pretty awesome you little soldier.
For me, my goal for 2016 is to get a life. My 2015 was huge, competing 3 times including coming top 12 in UKBFF British finals, self prepping the whole year, doing my first photo shoot and graduating from my PhD. I think I need a rest. Yes I’ll probably still compete, and I’ll probably (ok definitely) still work my ass off at my job. But I’ll also make so many memories with new and old friends, build relationships and embrace the love of people more than ever. Because balance. Oh, and I’ll grow a booty, obviously.
Happy new year beautiful people. Enjoy your goal setting, your resolution making and your love having. Have a phenomenal one. Xxxx


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