New Year’s Resolutions: Aim High or Be Realistic?

Yesterday I talked about the importance of setting measurable goals. Today I want to talk about the difference between aiming high and being realistic.

You know I easily get annoyed by crabs, well I also get annoyed by people who advise “being realistic”. I won’t give you any of that positive thinking crap, I’m a pragmatic and yes some guys want things that are completely unrealistic.

That said, it’s been my observation that the large majority of guys dramatically underestimate their own capabilities. They think Squatting 300lbs is a big deal, but it’s not. They think Deadlifting 400lbs within only 12 months of training is impossible, but it’s not. They think gaining 50lbs weight is hard, but it’s not.

You have right now your ideas about what you can and can not do, what is and is not realistic, and I’m telling you: you’re selling yourself short. Yes, most guys overestimate what they can accomplish in 3 months, but they also dramatically underestimate what they can achieve within 18 months of consistent training.

Example – StrongLifts Member Will (“Sid”, page 11 in the 5×5 report), he never did any kind of sport in his life, yet within 18 months of training he gained 37lbs and went from 95lb to 500lb on his Deadlift and from 65lb to 475lb on his Squat. All of that in 18 months flat with no prior weight lifting experience.

You may or may not achieve the same kind of results this year, but that’s not what matters here. What does is that you aim high. Small, realistic goals are boring. Big, challenging goals are motivating. You should therefore aim for what you really want instead of worrying about what you actually can achieve.

Aim high this year. You owe it to yourself to set a high standard.