As you work through the process of creating and refining your goals, don’t limit yourself to a single definition of success.

For example, a lot of guys might find themselves frustrated with a woman who embarks upon a weight-loss campaign, only to quit after several weeks, despite having succeeded by all rational measures: she looks better, her bodyfat percentage has dropped, her clothes are loose, her energy has increased, and her blood lipids have improved. Yet, because her weight has remained the same, she considers herself a failure.

Despite this, most guys do them same thing: they limit themselves to a single definition of success (often relating to lean-mass gain or maximum strength improvements), while ignoring numerous other factors that are not only important by themselves, the also contribute to the original goal.

So if your goal is to bench 405 or to weigh 260 at less than 10% bodyfat, stay with that goal, but also consider casting a wider net: also measure indicators such as joint pain, technical proficiency, or maybe even competitive success (as measured by a national ranking in weightlifting or powerlifting for example).

When you establish and track multiple indicators- multiple definitions of success really- you stand a far better chance of succeeding. Take them time right now to establish 3-5 “Functional Indicators” for yourself.

If any of these indicators are qualitative in nature (for example, energy levels or self-perceived levels of orthopedic pain), give them a quantitative measurement scale: for example, a 1-10 scale. Then, on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) track how these indicators are progressing. This type of broader perspective can really help sustain your motivation levels when you’re battling through a plateau or dealing with an injury or other temporary setback.

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“One of the signs of a great teacher is the ability to make the subject matter seem simple. Charles Staley is one of these rare teachers. After listening and talking to him, you suddenly achieve a new awareness of training. You go to the gym and, suddenly, everything makes sense, and you wonder why you haven’t been doing it his way since day one.” – Muscle Media 2000 magazine August, 1999


Prominent both the United States and across the globe, Charles is recognized as an insightful coach and innovator in the field of human performance. His knowledge, skills and reputation have lead to appearances on NBC's The TODAY Show and The CBS Early Show, along with numerous radio appearances.


He has authored more than a thousand articles for leading fitness publications and websites, and has lectured to eager audiences around the World.


Charles is not only a thinker, but also a doer: At age 54, he competes in the sport of raw powerlifting, and is a 2-time World Champion (220 and 198-pound weight classes). Find Charles online at www.TargetFocusFitness.com.