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Hierarchy of Goals-What’s Most Important to You?


Do you have a goal? Are you working to achieve it, or are you derailing yourself? In this article we’ll discuss why having a goal isn’t the only thing needed, you also need a Hierarchy of Goals.
I mentioned that I would explain this in my last article: The Secret to Losing Body Fat: I’ve finally figured out fat loss training.

In that article I mentioned that people need to have a Hierarchy of Goals to achieve success. You also need to be self-aware and pay attention to what you are doing.
A lot of us set goals, and some of us do this better than others.

You need more than a goal for success.

Setting a long-term goal is an outstanding way to succeed, but you must set smaller, attainable short term goals in order to stay on track long term.
Many people also have multiple goals. This is perfectly fine as long as you have a Hierarchy.
And many people get off track from their long-term goals by getting sidetracked by the need for immediate gratification, especially the younger crowd.

Who can blame the younger kids these days?

All they know is a point in time where you can have virtually anything right now, or by tomorrow.
Why can’t they reach their goals quickly as well?
And when they can’t it’s the biggest atrocity in the world!
Having a clearly defined long term goal leads to success, a blurry or general one does not.

Let’s break down your understanding of the Hierarchy of Goals with some easy to understand examples.


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(I’ll use strictly fictional people for my illustrative purposes.)

Hierarchy of Goals Example #1

28 year old female
175 pounds, 30% body fat, size 22, 5’6” tall
Goal: lose weight and tone up

This person is fictional, but I’ve met her countless times here at TPS.

This person will probably not have real success for a few reasons.

Reason 1:
The goal is not defined.
Does she want to lose 5 pounds, or 50?

Reason 2:
There is no date for success. Having an open ended goal is a sure fire way to fail.
Goals need an expiration date, just like milk.

Reason 3:
Toning up is a meaningless term.
Tone is an involuntary state of muscle contraction. You want to increase an involuntary state of muscle contraction?
By how much?
In what time frame?

The poor girl in this scenario is doomed to fail.

Let’s set her up for success, shall we?

Same person, different goals.
Here is her new Hierarchy of Goals

Primary long term goal:
Get to 18% body fat in 8 months
(Don’t do the math here, I’m just spit balling to give you an example.)
Secondary goal:
Get to a size 10 in 8 months
Third goal:
Lose weight
If she follows a good plan, and sticks to the hierarchy, she will hit all of her goals, but she will need to prioritize them and stick to it!

Let’s help her.

Short term goal 1:
Drop 4% body fat and 2 dress sizes in 12 weeks
This is 100% possible.
Look at it like this, at 175 pounds and 30% body fat she has about 53 pounds of fat.
To reach her short-term goal of a decrease of 4% body fat and 2 dress sizes in 12 weeks, she needs to lose a little weight (if we are only going by the scale), and a few inches.
So, if she sets the goal of getting to 165 pounds at 26% body fat in 12 weeks, she will now be at 43 pounds of fat, and there is a 99% chance she will lose at LEAST 2 sizes.
She only has to lose 9 pounds of fat to hit her short-term goal in 12 weeks. This should be easy.

Now as we progress, she will have to set more reasonable and attainable short-term goals to reach her milestone long term one.
She must stick to the Hierarchy of Goals we laid out as well.

What’s Most Important to You?

Is it the weight loss, the dress size loss, the body fat or something else?
Or is it the need for immediate gratification that hits you?
Is she having a bad day and then decides that going off her meal and exercise plan will not hurt?
“I can have this pint of ice cream because I had a bad day.”
No, you can’t if you want to reach your goal.

The Bad Day scenario is not factored into the Hierarchy, and this is where so many people fail.
You must stick to the Hierarchy in order to reach the long-term goal.

In this instance, the body fat is the Primary goal because if she trains smart and eats smart, all of the other goals will follow. Muscle tone will increase, a weight loss will occur, and she will lose inches and dress sizes as well as weight.

But she must have a hierarchy. Sometimes one thing will happen a little more than another, as long as we are working towards the primary, it will all work out.
Immediate gratification has no place here.

Let’s use a totally different example.

Hierarchy of Goals Example #2

hierarchy, goals, important,, tps method, deadlift, impoprtant, success, C.J. Murphy

29 year old male, 230 pounds, recreational lifter in the TPS Method program, wants to hit a 405 squat and a 455 deadlift. Currently at a 365 squat and 405 deadlift.
Again, this goal is not clearly defined. It is more defined than our last example, but it has no expiration date.
There is no chance of failure with no expiration date. There is also little chance of success as no expiration date gives the Excuse Train a chance to pull into the station.

Our fictional person has a cycle: they train hard and consistent for 3 weeks at a time, and then skips Day 3 to go away for the weekend and drink a shitload of beer and eat like shit for 3 days, then come back to the gym and miss lifts because they are tired, or banged up or whatever.
And, they also go out every Friday and Saturday night for beers and pizza. A lot of beers and pizza.

I see this all the time.
The need for immediate gratification here is to party.

Listen, I love to have fun just as much as you do, but I also understand the importance of sacrifice for something you want. Nothing easy is worth doing.

Let’s help our fictional person in this example set a Hierarchy of Goals for success:

Primary Long-Term Goal:

405 Squat and 455 Deadlift in 6 months
This is very reasonable.
We are not talking about an Elite Ranked lifter who is at the top of their game, we are talking about a recreational one who has not reached the point where  25 pound or more PR’s are out of the question.

So how do we do this?


Short term goal 1:
395 Squat and 430 Deadlift in 3 months
This should be a no brainer. We set the programs up so that consistent progress is attained as long as you follow them.
Take the advice you paid for.
Once these numbers are hit, the next jump will follow.
Smaller goals are important!

Short term goal 2:
Resist the urge to skip training and eat and drink like a fool every weekend.
Think about what happens to your recovery and therefore progress when you party like the Russians are in Chelsea every weekend.
Your sleep is interrupted, your calories are way overboard and this leads to less recovery from training as well as not being prepared for the next week of training.
If he simply takes a minute and thinks about the Hierarchy of Goals he set, the need for immediate gratification (going out and getting smashed) should subside.

You must decide what is most important to you.

Is it hanging out and having fun?
Or is it eating ice cream (or insert your food of choice) because you had a bad day?
Could it be some other factor that gets you further away from your goal?

Many of you answered yes to this, and if you did, take a few minutes and do some self-analysis.
Sit down with a pen and paper, not a keyboard.
(Writing things long hand is more personal and makes you think more.)

Create a Long Term Goal.

Set a Hierarchy of Goals with this.
Set Short term and attainable goals.
And, once you do this, get to work on them and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you train at TPS, our Team of coaches is happy to help.
If you use the site, ask in the Forum. The very same Team is there to help.
If you don’t do either, why don’t you set up the FREE TRIAL to and start?

Or find a resource in your area to help you.
There are a lot of good ones out there.

Going it alone is not the only way. Get some help from a professional or use your own support system.
Your training partners are great for this, as they will be more receptive to helping you than your other friends that are calling you to go out Saturday night.
Use family members or co-workers. Maybe they want to hit goals similar to yours!

Get to work on this now.
Thank me later.

copyright 2019


C.J. Murphy

C.J. Murphy


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2020-01-08T02:13:14-05:00July 23rd, 2019|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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