5 Ways to Remain Goal Focused through the Holidays!

(As seen on Clinical Sports Labs at clinicalsportslabs.com)

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We are fast approaching that time of the year where New Year’s resolutions will be set. Am I moving too fast for you? Okay, ill slow it down a bit. . .

November is here and thanksgiving is just around the corner! The most festive times of the year where loved ones gather with family and friends and partake in the high carb, low exercise festivities. . . I mean, it’s true right? This is the time of year where goals usually receive a swift kick in the ass out the front door. But just because that’s the holiday “norm”, it doesn’t have to be you! Below are a few ways you can remain accountable and motivated to stick close to your plans in reaching your fitness goals even through the holidays!

  1. Re-write your game plan!

Chances are, you sat down a long time ago and wrote down your goals in a notebook or on a sticky note. That notebook is probably underneath books and papers that have accumulated over the months or that sticky note was maybe thrown away on accident; what I’m getting at is that the goals in your head have become clouded and may not be as clear to you as they once were. One way of re-introducing your goals back into your daily routine is to re-write them! Reacquaint yourself with your fitness goals and map out a plan of attack. This time, keep that paper pinned on your wall or somewhere you can see it daily. Never forget what it is you want and never stop working towards it!

  1. Cheat … Smart!

Yeah I said it, cheat. This pertains to you meat heads and fitness junkies out there! Competition prep can really hit you hard not only physically but mentally as well (you know). Allowing yourself to cheat is a healthy way to recharge you mentally and physically. Allow those extra carbs you consume through the holidays to fuel your workouts! Your brain will thank you for it as well for receiving the macro-nutrient it loves most! But be careful don’t allow your thanksgiving meal to drag you down. Cheat, but cheat smart. Enjoy thanksgiving and all the delicious, mouth watering carbs it provides but don’t let this cheat meal or day turn into a cheat week! Get on track and hit the gym the next day. That workout will be the best workout you’ve probably had in a long time.

  1. Short term reward for long term risk?

What I mean by this is when it comes to making decisions that may have a temporary reward ask yourself “Does this also have a long term reward?” Saying yes to a few sugar cookies a day can be your arch nemesis when the day comes that you have to check in with your coach around contest prep time. Yes have a cookie, but don’t over indulge! Think about the long term advantages and disadvantages of every move you make. Trust me, they count.

  1. Supplement your sweet tooth!

The holiday season is famous for its sweets! This is a perfect time to get creative with your supplements! With the help of Clinical Sports Labs’ delicious protein flavors you can come up with healthy, protein rich sweets that will help you steer clear of the devilish, high sugar desserts put in your path. I am a huge fan of blending Arctic Zero’s Cookie Shake ice cream with a scoop of Clinical Sports Labs’ vanilla ice cream protein and almond milk to make the most delicious milk shake on the planet! (My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!) You can add protein to cookies, cakes, pancakes, oatmeal, and coffee to create something you can indulge in and leave the guilt behind!

http://clinicalsportslabs.com/product/clinical-protein-vanilla-ice-cream/

  1. Don’t be hard on yourself

Look, we are all human. We all make mistakes and we all slip up. It happens. The point I want to drive home is that you shouldn’t hate yourself or be hard on yourself because you made the decision to eat cake. They don’t call it bulking season for nothing right? 😉 Your body is an amazing machine. It’s ability to adapt is profound. You can truly adjust, change, and manipulate your body in a way that you are happy with whenever you want. Yes, it may take some time to work off the cake you ate at your holiday party but the thing is that it’s not impossible. It’s not like that cake is permanently glued to your thighs or abdomen, although it may feel that way for some time. Don’t be hard yourself. Look at your goals and get right back on the horse.

T.G.I.M: Live life with no excuses

Be stronger than your strongest excuse.

Excuses tend to get us out of  many, many messes. It covers our asses when we need it most and gives us a reason for not wanting to or not doing something we know we should have done in the first place. The problem with this? Excuses can become little road blocks preventing us from moving forward towards our goals.

My alarm wakes me at 7:00a. I open my eyes and think to myself, ” I really don’t feel like getting up and studying. I am so comfy and could actually use a little extra sleep … I mean, I didn’t really get enough sleep the night before because … because of ..my dog. He kept me up so late that night. My body needs to catch up on some rest and plus I have time later to study.” I hit “snooze” and go back to sleep.

This is absolutely legit and is something I struggle with almost every other morning. Since I really don’t sleep well at night, it is incredibly difficult to wake up in the morning. Especially to study. This is where I am failing to see the big picture and many of you are as well, (I know i’m not the only one who does this).

It isn’t about the studying or the sleeping, it’s about your goals, your dreams. It’s about doing whatever you have to do and whatever it takes to get you closer to reaching your goals. It is about what you have planned for your life. You can’t allow your excuses to become bigger than your goals! Tell those excuses to go f**k off and get to work! Build a life you can be proud of and a life that makes you happy. Learn to ignore those little excuses that your brain creates and learn to push past them. Look at the big picture and in my case, get out of bed. If your goal is to lose weight, wake up early and get that morning workout in before work. Save us all from listening to the perfect excuse you have created convincing yourself that you will do it later because we both know that wont happen! Trust me, I’ve been there and done that. If you are trying to grow your business then get out into the world and network your ass off. Don’t let your lacking skill-set excuse you from working hard. Teach yourself ways to improve your skill-set and then work harder. Wake up, work hard, and get it done! No excuses.

Be stronger than your excuses.

-mk

 

Living with Responsibilities

“I have a lot on my plate.”

This is certainly a phrase I have not used much of in my life leading up to now. I am a server which allows extra time in my schedule for things I enjoy doing. I love that! Starting next month, in November, my world is about to change. I am sitting here looking at all of my responsibilities and it has grown from little to A LOT! It is difficult not to get overwhelmed.

I wrote a blog post a while back about balancing your time with work, friends, family, and school. I wrote about how it is impossible to balance, instead you must counterbalance all of your activities. There is no time like now to “walk the walk” if i’m gonna “talk the talk”. It’s time to learn how to counterbalance.

I need to keep my goals in mind 24/7 and constantly remind myself why I started in the first place! I have to keep in mind the person I want to be!

The month of November brings on life changes including studying for my certification as a Personal Trainer and prepping for a bikini contest in march all while working to pay my bills and writing for my blog and Clinical Sports Labs.

If you have any pointers in organizing time efficiently I would love some advice!

Wish me luck!

Check out my post on counter-balance now by clicking the link below!

http://fitlifemk.com/2015/06/15/achieving-balance-in-an-unbalanced-world-is-it-possible/

Meagan

5 Motivational Tips for Success!

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  1. Be Goal Driven and Specific

What is the number one thing you constantly hear about how successful people became successful? Goals. Every person who is successful today has set goals that got them to that point. The number one way to achieve success is to set goals and work your ass off reaching them!

The quality of your goal is extremely important!

Let’s say you want to set a goal with squatting.

“I want to squat heavy” = this isn’t a goal … slacker.

“I want squat 200 pounds” = alright, it’s a little better but let’s be more specific.

“I want to squat 200 pounds in 16 weeks” = Ding, ding, ding, ding! Now we have a quality goal.

A quality goal requires specificity and must have a deadline.

It is important to set goals that are detail oriented.  I am fairly new to the fitness scene with only lifting confidently on my own for about two years. I have always had vague goals in the back of my head like a specific physique or lifting heavy for certain lifts. I never specified what weight I wanted to hit AND the amount of time I would designate myself to reach this goal. Specificity is key! Set your goal, set a deadline, and keep track!

Goals are important and are crucial but it’s also very important not to become obsessed with your goals. Realistically, you simply will not reach every single goal you set. Even the strongest, leanest, fastest person will fall short of their goals at some point … the key is not to get down on yourself when this happens!

Every failure presents a learning experience, so even though you did not reach that goal, you still gained something from the experience that will help you reach your goals in the future!

  1. Review your goals OFTEN!

How often do we push important life planning like goal setting aside for more immediate matters like work, bills, and family? Pretty regularly. It’s part of life. Make goal setting a priority. Setting aside time just once a week is all you really need! The best time to review your goals is first thing in the morning. When you get up, review your goals, remind yourself how important that goal is to you, and how you plan to eventually reach that goal. Five minutes is all it really takes!

  1. Don’t be afraid to change it up!

If you are anything like me, atmosphere is everything when it comes to fitness AND motivation. I am a huge “vibes” person, I can feel the serious, goal driven vibes coming from the person next to me at the gym. You know, the guy who is lifting heavy, panting, breathing heavy, and pushing himself further and further … well, that is exactly what motivates me. My motivation is high when I can feel other people’s motivation is high. On the opposite end of spectrum, my motivation can diminish when there are clusters of people having a conversation hogging the weights … dear Lord!

Don’t be afraid to change gyms if you notice the atmosphere just plain stinks! I’ll take old equipment, dirty floors, and bent bars over the other gyms if the atmosphere pushes me to be my best! Also, don’t be afraid to change-up your training routine. Change your reps, sets, weight, add plyos, HIIT, cardio, etc.

Step out of your comfort zone!

  1. Don’t be a shallow Hal, see the bigger picture!

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the gym selfie progress pictures and videos on IG. Yes you are working hard to better yourself physically but step back and look at the bigger picture. You are working hard to strengthen you mind, muscles, heart, and bones. You are creating a healthy body. A healthy body that is able to run around with your children. A strong body that is able to provide for your family and someday see your children get married. The bigger picture is that you are simply improving your body so that you will live a longer, healthier life.

  1. Grow a Pair!

Honestly, there comes a point in your journey towards your goals where getting motivated through others will just simply lose its impact on you. Simply put, you will need to motivate yourself. YOU need to want it!

If fitness is just too much of a hassle then stop and do something that makes you happy! Hula hoop, collect insects, run an ant farm, whatever it is that makes you happy … do it.

Being able to improve your physical and mental health, your physique, and bodily function is a privilege life allows us to experience and it is a privilege that most people only dream of doing in their life time.

So, don’t just dream of  it, work hard and achieve optimal health.

T.G.I.M: Don’t wait too late to apply these helpful life lessons!

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I found these very helpful life lessons on another blog/website called reginabrett.com. These were written and created by Regina Brett the night before her 45th birthday and after she found out that she had breast cancer. These are some important lessons that we can apply to our lives today!

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

T.G.I.M: Music to Promote Positive Vibes

positivevibeselephantI thought I would do something a little different for you all today!

Instead of writing ABOUT something, I thought I would GIVE you something you can use to help you have a better, positive start to your day!

We all listen to some form of music right? I would like to think so. I 100% believe that the words we listen to and the vibrations we receive from our music absolutely have an impact on our mood and mentality. Have you ever noticed how when you’re mad you might want to listen to rock, hip hop, or something of the sort? I know I do. Or, if you’re feeling sad and sorry to say, you might feel like throwing a little pity party for yourself (I know I have before!) you might listen to some music that hits your emotional side hard like maybe country.

Well I am about to share with you my absolute favorite Spotify playlist that calms my nerves, puts me in a great mood, and promotes positive vibrations!

First of all if you don’t have Spotify I recommend you download it.

https://www.spotify.com/us/

Check it out by clicking the link above.

There is a free version and a paid version. Try it out for free, that’s what I did.

So here is the name of the playlist:

Beach Vibes

After you have created an account with Spotify and logged in, type the name of the playlist into the Spotify search bar. The image you’re looking for is shown below. Click the image below to be taken directly to the playlist!

Some of the songs you will find in the playlist are:

  • Wonderful World, Beautiful People by: Jimmy Cliff
  • What I Got by: Sublime
  • Upside Down by Jack Johnson
  • True To Myself by: Ziggy Marley (my absolute favorite song!)
  • Ordinary girl by: Rebelution
  • Three Little Birds by: Bob Marley & The Wallers
  • Love Is My Religion by: Ziggy Marley (another favorite!)
  • Bowl For Two by: The Expendables
  • Right Me Up by: State Radio

Listen for yourself and feel the calmness take over your body!

Enjoy!

-mk

I. AM. HUMAN: The Disappearance of Motivation

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“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

I’m sitting here on my couch, sipping on a warm cup of coffee and listening to “The Today Show” all while I look at my blog and wonder where my motivation went. Isn’t it strange how you can start something like a fitness routine or in my case a blog with an amazing amount of motivation to keep it going and then one day you lose it? It is pretty perplexing to me seeing as how it’s something I really enjoy doing.

But guess what … here’s why it happens:

I. AM. HUMAN.

or you can read it like this:

YOU. ARE. HUMAN.

That’s really it. While there are thousands of very motivated and inspiring individuals out there, not everyone is the same. Where one person might be highly self motivated another may not be. These people, like myself, have to look for inspiration that will jumpstart our motivation from something inward or outward.

Just because you experience this odd disappearance of motivation doesn’t mean you failed, I’ll say it again:

YOU. DID. NOT. FAIL.

A lack of motivation is not failure. Failure to notice this lack of motivation and not creating a plan to get back on track is failure. If you aren’t aware of your lack of motivation you wont ever feel the need to make changes. Without creating a game plan to get back on track … you wont ever progress.

  1. Recognize that you have a problem: Lack of motivation
  2. Create a game plan to get back on track
  3. Make a note of why you veered off path before (laziness, school, responsibilities, etc)
  4. Execute your game plan!

As long as you dedicate yourself to getting back on track, you will not fail.

That goes for everything in life: addictions, fitness routines, diets, work, blogs, writing, drawing, etc. Sometimes you just have to recognize what the problem is and where the problem came from in order to create a fresh game plan to get you back on track towards your goals!

-mk

T.G.I.M: Will you sink or float?

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I am in love with the symbolism here!

Your body is the ship and the ocean water is the negativity of the world. The water slams into the sides of the ship repeatedly day in and day out just like negativity slams into our mind, heart, and body. How strong the ship was built, or how strong our bodies are built, determines whether or not that negative water will pour into the ship.

But listen! It is up to us whether our boat, our body, sinks or continues to float!


I consider negativity a mental disease. I mean, it works like a disease right? It gets inside of our brain, latches on, and seeps out of our body like blood from an open wound. It shows symptoms of anger, depression, and a lack of motivation; it eventually moves from one part of your life to the next destroying what little motivation and hope you had left.

Unlike physical diseases, we actually ALLOW negativity to enter into our heart, mind, and body.

Why do we let this happen?

It’s easy. We let it happen because we don’t know how to prevent it.

Living a positive life isn’t a skill you are born with. The negative influence the world has on us is something we are born into and it is up to us to teach ourselves how to deflect it or how to see the positive side to any negative situation.

It is my decision whether I wake up with a smile on my face or a frown. Whether I let spilled coffee on my clean shirt ruin my day or wipe it off, suck it up, and move on.

This reminds of a scene from “The Pursuit of Happyness” where actor Will Smith played a character named Chris. He was sitting in the interview room with his future employers. He was covered in paint from head to toe wearing only a paint jacket, white tank top, jeans, and work boots. His employers were less than impressed but he didn’t let that stop him. Will Smith’s character was able to impress his future employers by answering one simple question.

“What would you say if a guy walked into our office for an interview without a shirt on and I hired him, what would you say? ”

His character replied:

“He must have had on some really nice pants.”

His comment impressed his future employers and he was hired on for a chance to be hired for the internship. He didn’t let his circumstances that he could not change get in the way of him reaching his goals in the pursuit of happiness.

To watch the video clip click the link below! Absolutely inspirational!

https://youtu.be/8ioBmnoto1o

The one thing you have 100% control over in life is your own attitude. 

Don’t allow the bad situations that occur in life, big or small, to seep into your heart, mind, and body. Don’t let these negative experiences dictate whether your life is good or bad. You can decide for yourself!

If you were blessed with another chance to open your eyes and to breathe in the fresh air … you were already given a huge reason to be happy and positive. You are blessed with another day to reach your goals and to experience life: good AND bad!

Don’t let yourself sink.

Patch those holes and build your ship stronger.

You can prevail.

You will float.

-mk

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T.G.I.M: 8 Tips to help you Self Motivate!

8 Tips to help you Self Motivate!

Self motivation can be very difficult for many of us and trust me nobody is perfect! We all suffer from a lack of motivation. That’s why learning how we can encourage positive motivation in our lives is important! Below are a few things you can do to help you along the path of self motivation!

  1. Get Started!

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If you want to achieve any particular goal in life you have to make that first step! You have to get started and begin working towards what you want to achieve. Push that ball and get it rolling my friend!

  1. K.I.S.S

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I know we have all heard this acronym throughout our years in school! The second step to help you self motivate is simple, literally!

Keep

It

Simple

Stupid!

Keep any and all motivators around you at all times. Pictures, quotes, jewelry, notebooks, etc can all be motivators that help spark your motivation! Keep them with you at home, in your car, and at work!

  1. Keep Company with People Who Uplift You

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Have you ever heard the phrase “keep good company”? I am sure we all have and those are words to live by! You are only as good as the company you keep. It is very easy to get caught up in the web of destruction negative people weave. The best way to self motivate is to have positive motivation around you and that involves the people you spend your time with: family AND friends. When you surround yourself with people who uplift you and provide a positive and motivational atmosphere, self motivation comes naturally!

  1. Positivity is Key!

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No, that glass is not half empty, it’s half full! See? Looking for the positive side to any situation will create a motivating atmosphere for you! You need to learn how to look for solutions to a problem and if it’s something you can’t control don’t dwell on it! Let it go. The one thing you can control is your attitude, so get a grip!

  1. Don’t Over-think!

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Stop thinking … just do! There are times where you should think about the different aspects of making certain decisions but, when it comes to achieving your goals and maintaining a high level of motivation you need to stop over-thinking! Take a leap of faith! Don’t be afraid to take that first step towards what you want in life! JUMP!

  1. The one person who knows you best is YOU!

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You know what makes you tick and what makes you … not tick. Even if you’re not sure what motivates you, you can learn! Try keeping a log or journal. Write down notes on the days where you are suffering with a lack of motivation AND write down notes on the days where you are more motivated than ever! Take notes of specific things motivate you and what brings you down. Over time you will notice what works and what doesn’t and will be able to create a plan that promotes better self motivation!

  1. Keep Track of Progress

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Keep a list of the projects you are currently working on. Also, keep a brief description of how far along you are on that project. Wherever we see growth or progress therein motivation lies! The best way to complete a project is seeing how we are progressing!

  1. We rise by lifting others!

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I use this quote quite a lot in my blog posts because I truly believe that by lifting others up we find self growth! It’s rewarding and motivating. Work with others who have similar goals as you. Talk to people and motivate them to reach their goals. You and the people you help will find that self motivation will come naturally when you see others achieve success!

Apply these to your daily routine whenever you need help in the motivation department!

Happy Monday Everyone!

-mk

The Importance of Goal Setting!

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We all know that setting goals is important to reach any form of success whether with fitness, your career, or family. The great thing about setting goals is that they can be big and small! That truly makes it fun and interesting. Remember: setting goals is the first step towards success!

Below are a few reasons why you should set goals!

  1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision
  2. Creates positive tunnel vision
  3. Motivation to keep moving forward
  4. Helps you be the best person you can be
  5. Makes you an accountable person

Now, let me go into a little bit more detail on each one.

1. Illustrates a clear picture for your end vision

Have you ever had so much on your mind that until you write it down and organize it on paper it’s just a jumbled mess in your head? We have all certainly been there; prioritizing is almost natural (well, maybe not for everyone). But, until we literally create a game plan and figure out what it is we want to take care of first, second, third, and so on and so forth we will remain confused and lost.

Setting goals involves prioritizing and writing down just what it is you want to accomplish. That can range from small goals within your family to larger goals 5 maybe 10 years from now! You can set goals to have family, to get promoted within your company, to reach your desired weight, or to compete in a fitness competition. Your goals can literally be anything. The main goal here is to create a clear game plan OR vision that illustrates or maps out what you want to accomplish.

2.Creates positive tunnel vision

The reason I say “positive tunnel vision” instead of just “tunnel vision” is because there can be negative tunnel vision as well. Some people can be overly consumed with a certain goal and might lose focus on their family or job responsibilities. Just because you have a goal you want to meet and accomplish does not mean you should neglect the people in your life that matter most to you. It also does not mean you should just up and quit your job or be late for work every day. You have bills to pay, don’t make rash decisions! Have a plan.

When you have a goal set and you have a clear vision of what you want and how you plan to accomplish it you can then motivate yourself to remain focused on the end result! You won’t allow outside negative opinions or actions influence your decisions to accomplish your goals.

3. Motivation to keep moving forward

Goal setting can be easy but what can be hard is keeping the motivation to reach those goals high! You will find that when you set goals that are very important to you, the motivation comes naturally. You can also look for motivation from outside factors such as friends, family, role models, etc.

4. Helps you be the best person you can be

Setting goals can keep you dedicated and shows just how hard you will work to reach them. Goals push you harder and harder every day so that one day you will find success. It allows you to experience your weakest and strongest moments and helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work. You soon learn the skills needed to work efficiently to reach your goals!

 5.Makes you an accountable person

Simply put goals hold you accountable. Write them down and hang them on your wall, put your goals everywhere you can think of where you will be reminded of them constantly. This way you will never forget what all of your hard work is for.

Setting goals is required when working towards success in anything. I hope this helps you in your future endeavors readers!

Remember, we rise by lifting others.

Inspire and motivate each other!

-mk