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Lean Machine – Update 2 – Setting Goals


“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso


Yesterday on my first blog post I mentioned Goal setting on 3 separate occasions before we go on in this blog entry I feel the need to give you the name of the book recently that has really inspired the form this project is taking.  I am a pretty prolific listener of audio books, I used to read a lot but life gets in the way of my reading so the discovery of audio books has been one of the best things that has happened to my life in the past 5 years.  My main areas of interest are psychology/neurology, self improvement, popular science and economics/finance (I’m a fucking riot at dinner parties!).

Long story short one of the books I most recently listened to goes by the name of your life in half a second written by a fella named Matthew Michalewicz.  It is a self help book that tries to convey a process through which success is achieved in any walk of life.  I can highly recommend this book to anyone no matter what your goals are Matthew provides a compelling narrative for life.
Well without trying to make this blog post into any more of a sales pitch I thought any of my readers who might like to know where the frame work for these ideas have come from.   A lot has been derived from your life in half a second amongst quite a few other books.


Setting goals

Two weeks ago I sat out in the Bruntsfield links in Edinburgh on a glorious spring day thinking through what I had listened to in your life in half a second and what I was going to do about actioning the advice in the book.

I fired through my career and financial goals reasonably easily and then I came to the topic of health and fitness an area you might think I would handle easily given my profession.  However I sat there and had a good think about what I was doing with my training what I was deriving from it and realised I wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing.

Getting stronger is fun as hell but when you get to a certain level of strength or training age the fun kind of gets sucked out of it.  Volume becomes king and progress is slow, training is monotonous and niggles are pretty common.  I came across a pretty obvious realisation that can be hard to see when you get caught in the forest looking for trees.

No one is paying me a fucking penny for this.

Things become pretty different when you cut yourself from the ties that bond I have spent a decade pretty much training for strength and strength only that I had almost forgotten about all of the other things that exercise allows.  I played team sports for the best part of 10 years prior to even touching a barbell and I can’t remember the last time I actually enjoyed just going for a kick about without worrying about what the effect would be on my squat performance the next day.

Then I started typing on my phone…. (in evernote which is awesome by the way if you don’t use it already).



I layed out 1 year and 3 year goals once I had them committed to “paper” then they became a little more real.  I left it with no action for 2 weeks then I began to slowly implement some changes.  Having had some time to stew over what I am going to be embarking on I think I would like to achieve the following in the next 6 months.

  • “Stretch Goal” – six pack abs lean by my 30th Birthday (14 November 2015).
  • 3 Month Goal – Sub 95 kg day after a big cheat meal.
  • 2 Month Goal – Sub 100 kg day after a big cheat meal.
  • 1 Month goal – Sub 103 day after a big cheat meal.

I say after a big cheat meal because I have a ridiculous ability to gain weight in a day I often put on 2-4 kg after a big day of eating so for me to be those weights after a cheat day or meal I will need to be a lot better on keeping to my day to day goals.


Daily / Weekly Goals

If I were to read you out a phone number 11 numbers in length and immediately after ask you to recall them in order on average you will be able to recall 4 to 6 numbers before you loose track and can’t recall any more numbers.  This is down to our poor short term memory capacity for this reason I don’t want to inundate myself with lots of little goals that are going to overwhelm me or take over my life.


For this reason I have decided to limit myself to a maximum of 4 mini goals that aren’t yet a habit and they will remain a mini goal until they are burned into my daily ritual.  I am going to introduce these goals on a weekly basis so over the course of the next month I will accumulate 4 mini goals that I will be striving to nail down.



Beginning this week I am going to track 90% of my calorie intake (looking for 100%) all the beer, chocolate, pizza or whatever else I put in my mouth I am looking to record.

In my next update I will go over why this is my first goal and how you can go about doing it.


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