'It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.' — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe We all have long term goals in this sport, whether it be compete in your first show, get that bench over 3 plates, or the hopes of one day earning that prestigious “pro card.” With huge aspirations like these, it’s easy to lose track of the little things that you accomplish daily, be it in the gym or elsewhere. I challenge you to keep the short term goals in mind and remind yourself that in a sport like this, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. When you’re dieting for 10+ weeks (or like me, 16 weeks…) or hit a plateau with your numbers on a lift or on the scale, it can get very frustrating, but you have to keep in mind that your body is adapting, growing, and changing even if there’s not immediate physical proof. This goes for any other aspects in life—most of us aren’t IFBB pros or the world strongest man; we have to work around a real job, or school, or children, or family, or friends, and any and all other aspects deters you from the ideal. But realize that it’s life. Nothing is ideal, nothing is paved in gold… nothing should be handed to you, nothing is picture perfect. If it were, it all wouldn’t be worth it. Having a positive attitude and finding a way to better yourself in anyway when you don’t like the situation you’re in is a skill set that’s hard to acquire and is a foregoing learning process. No one’s going to feel sorry for you that you didn’t get enough sleep, or you had to miss a meal. You have to be your own boss and take charge of the task at hand. Something as small as getting in an extra rep from last week or doing an extra minute of cardio can be that turning point in a negative mentality that can be detrimental to your training. It’s a long grueling road to get to where we want, and once we get to the end of the 10+ weeks, we can’t celebrate too long because the next goal is staring us in the face. Maybe it’s sacrificing time from getting that little extra work done to hang out with your family or significant other, or maybe it’s sacrificing not watching your favorite show to cook tomorrow’s meal. Set and achieve small goals that can give you that little bit of instant gratification, that extra boost that will keep your head straight. It’s as much of a mental game as it is a physical. Drive and motivate yourself through these small obstacles and push yourself daily. Reward yourself and give yourself the recognition once you meet these short term goals, but remember the bigger picture. Don’t fall into a mindset that will make you become stagnant—these little victories are the stepping stones to the prize in the sky, whatever it may be. Danny Quach is a senior at the University of Georgia and he’s studying Health Promotion and Behavior. He’s a powerlifter at heart and has done it for over six years. He just competed in his first bodybuilding show in Summer of 2011. For powerlifting, he holds some Georgia records. In his first bodybuilding competition, he placed 2nd in Novice in INBF Southern States. On his spare time he’s a part of the University of Georgia’s cheerleading co-ed squads; his favorite past-time? Throwing girls around and catching them.