You Do Not Need Goals


“Coach, I don’t know what my goals should be this year.”

“Coach, I crushed my half marathon last week! What should I train for now?”

“Coach, I can’t seem to find any motivation to train. I need new goals.”

Does any of that sound familiar? Have you had those exact conversations with your coach, training partner, or even your spouse?

If you answered, “OMG! Yes!” you’re not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of people inside gyms across the globe desperately searching for new goals. In fact, in the last 5-10 years, goal setting has become somewhat of a buzzword in the fitness and nutrition space. Every coach and facility seems to have the same mission, “help you achieve your goals.” Now, to be clear, I’m not saying that goal setting is a bad thing, not in the slightest! Goals are valuable in nearly every facet of life. However, in health and fitness, there will come a time where you no longer need goals.

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely a fitness enthusiast. You’ve likely been prioritizing your health, fitness, and nutrition for 1, 5, 7, 10+ years. When you first began your journey, you were probably in pursuit of aesthetics (i.e. you wanted to look better naked). Once you achieved that goal, you likely chased greater overall fitness (i.e. you wanted to run faster, jump higher, and lift more weight). Finally, after building that baseline fitness, you likely started to pursue performance-based goals (e.g. “X” number of Strict Pull-ups, double bodyweight Deadlift, new 1RM Clean and Jerk, Muscle-ups, Handstand Walks, etc.). Hell, you may still be in the performance-based phase, and if so, that’s awesome!

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Eventually, you’re going to achieve all of your performance-based milestones (notice, I said your milestones, not every milestone in the book). Eventually, you’ll reach the point at which Snatching your bodyweight, walking on your hands, and banging out Muscle-ups is no longer the top priority. You’ll begin to value how you look and feel over performance. Sure, you’ll still want to utilize those skills that you worked so hard to achieve, but it will no longer be what drives you. If you haven’t yet arrived at this point on the journey, disregard the rest of the article and continue to enjoy the ride, but if you’re reading this and thinking, “Holy shit! Derrick is literally writing this about me!” you need to keep reading.

If you’re still with me, then you’re in the strange and uncertain stage that I just described. You still love fitness, you still enjoy training, and you still prioritize your nutrition - none of that has changed. Yet, regardless of how hard you try, you can’t seem to find the motivation to train, or at the very least the motivation to create new, exciting goals. Well, I have great news:


Actually, it’s not so much that you don’t need goals; it’s a matter of understanding that MAINTENANCE is a goal.

That’s right, you heard me. Maintenance is a goal! In fact, if maintenance is your goal, that means you’re in an incredible place. Transitioning into the maintenance phase indicates that you’ve invested immense amounts of time, energy, and effort in the pursuit of your goals. You’ve likely achieved nearly every milestone that you set out to conquer. Sure, you may have missed the mark on one or two occasions, but for the most part, your crushed it. You may still want to lose a few pounds, decrease body fat by a percentage or two, and possibly gain muscle, but overall, you look great, feel great, and you’re able to do all the things that you enjoy outside the gym.

Sounds pretty damn good when you phrase it like that, right?

Rather than trying to relive your “glory days” in the gym and creating new, irrelevant goals, turn your attention to maintenance. Learn to appreciate the fitness that you worked so hard to cultivate, enjoy what your body is able to do both inside and outside the gym, and focus on the long game.

Maintenance is a beautiful place to be.


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