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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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About

Charles Staley, B.Sc., MSS: His colleagues call him an iconoclast, a visionary, a rule-breaker. His clients call him “The Secret Weapon” for his ability to see what other coaches miss. Charles calls himself a “geek” who struggled in Phys Ed throughout school. Whatever you call him, Charles' methods are ahead of their time and quickly produce serious results. His counter-intuitive approach and self-effacing demeanor have lead to appearances on NBC’s The TODAY Show and The CBS Early Show. Learn more about Charles’ Escalating Density Training program online at http://www.StaleyTrainingPrograms.com