Enrich and conquer your New Year’s Resolution: Reverse Engineer your way to success


How many times have we set up resolutions only to see them fade away by the end of January? How many times have we made up lofty and honest goals, for us just to give up on them? This short blog will teach you an extremely simple way to create soaring and noble goals and be able to achieve them. My secret sauce is: Reverse Engineering. Conceive your S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goal and then deconstructed piece by piece.

When I Reverse Engineer a goal I try to stay within 5 to 7 steps. If the goal is too lofty, then it could have a maximum of 10 steps. The advantages of reverse engineering a goal are multiple:

  1. You start with an eagle view of the goal and you minimize it to an ant’s view.
  2. It engages the logical and creative sides of your brain
  3. Many people fail at their goals because they are so overwhelming. NLPers love to say: What is the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time (who would want to eat an elephant anyways? –but you get the idea). When a goal is chunked down it makes it much more achievable and it gives you a dynamic chart on how to achieve your objective.
  4. Finally, it allows you to concentrate on the destination AND to enjoy the journey by surmounting multiple small steps; and by doing so, it installs within you the habit of success.

Let’s look at one of my SMART goals for 2014: to be fluent in Calisthenics by December 30, 2013. I will measure it versus 3 tests (2 of them are readily available and well known within the calisthenics circles):

  1. Graduate from the Dan Kalosthenos Progressive Calisthenics Program (coming soon, so stay posted)
  2. Pass the Calisthenics Kingz Basic Requirements
    1. 5 clean and strict muscle-ups
    2. 10 clean and strict pull-ups
    3. 6 clean and strict front levers
      Do all these exercises consecutive without  letting go of the pull-up/chin-up bar
    4. Freestanding handstand for 30 seconds
    5. 20 strict and clean dips
    6. 20 strict and clean pushups
      All to be done in 3 minutes or less
  3. Pass the Bar-Barian Requirements
    1. 6 muscle ups
    2. 60 dips
    3. 30 pull-ups
    4. 60 push-ups
    5. 6 muscle ups
      All to be done in 6 minutes or less

To reverse engineer my goal I must ask myself, before I become fluent in Calisthenics what would be the immediate previous logical step. In my case it would be to complete all those exercises in 6 and 10 minutes respectively. At par I should be able to complete this task by September 30, 2014.

The direct preceding steps will be as follows:

6. I need to be able to do muscle-ups, human flags, front levers and freestanding headstand (the headstand will be somewhat interesting since I have always been afraid of doing them, same as backward flips). I must be able to do each one of these exercises with no hindrance by June 30, 2014.

5.  In order to be able to do those exercises with ease I must lean down to 170 or 175. I must be at that weight by April 30, 2013.

4. I must work out and do cardio 6 days a week.

3. I must create a balanced work out regime that combines cardiovascular, calisthenics and weight training.

2. I must employ a discipline diet. I will follow the Fit for Life lifestyle and juicing will make up about 60% of my diet.

1. I will look up online tutorials on doing a muscle-ups, human flags, front levers and freestanding headstand.

One discipline that you must use daily in order to guarantee your success is to schedule your activities that must take place daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and your final yearly goal. Every first of the quarter I do my up to 3 quarterly activities. Every first of the month I do my up to 3 monthly activities. Every Sunday I do my up to 3 weekly activities. Every morning I write down my 3 daily activities. As a matter of fact, in my journal, I write down daily all my yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly activities. This exercise helps me to keep my eye on the ball. At par, I jot down a list of people that I could model and could mentor me to be successful in my journey.

It would look as follows:

Yearly Goal:

To be fluent in Calisthenics by December 30, 2013

Quarterly Goals:

1. To be 170 or 175 pounds

2. To be at 9% body fat or lower

3. To be able to do a muscle up and front lever

Monthly Goals:

1. To be around 185 pounds

2. Start mastering muscle ups, front levers, human flags and freestanding handstands.

Weekly Goals:

1. Workout 6 days a week

2. Maintain a disciplined diet

3. Finish the Tutorials

Daily Activities:

1. Find the tutorials

2. Workout

3. Eat properly

Last but not least, celebrate and congratulate yourself every time that you hit a target. If you told family members and/or friends what your resolution is, then share with them your success. 

Please share this blog, comment about your experiences below and if you have any questions please let me know. Have a wonderful day and a Happy New Year!

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