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If you don’t believe in yourself, then you’ll never reach your goals. It’s as simple as that. By saying that you can’t do something, then you are condemning yourself to failure before you even start. For that reason, the most important step of your muscle-building journey is to get your mindset right by getting your head in the game. First and foremost, you need to think of yourself as a muscle builder, not simply someone who does some muscle-building exercises a few times a week. This will allow you to live a lifestyle that focuses on building muscle. As your lifestyle revolves around muscle-building, every decision you make about what you eat and how you spend your time will help you build muscle. How to Set Goals Before you really start muscle building, you’ll need to set goals for yourself. It’s important for your goals to be attainable or else you’ll never reach them. More than that, you’re more likely to give up before reaching your goals if they’re set too high. So, keep that in mind as you start the three-step process of setting muscle-building goals. Step 1: Set a 5-year Goal The first goal you’re going to set for yourself won’t be reached for several years, but it gives you something long-term to reach for that will help keep you motivated to keep going. This goal should be difficult enough that it will take a lot of work over a long period of time to reach it, but easy enough that you will be able to get to it in about 5 years. Your 5-year goal is going to look different from everybody else’s. It could be to get your body measurements to a certain size, your muscle percentage to a certain number, or your 1RM up to a certain weight. Whatever your 5-year goal, be as specific as possible so you know exactly what you’re aiming for. This helps in the long run and right now as you continue the goal-setting process. Step 2: Set Monthly Goals Break down your 5-year goal into 60 months and it becomes significantly easier to reach. Rather than simply going for one long-term goal, you are now able to focus on just one goal per month. This not only makes the process less overwhelming, but it also helps you feel motivated to keep going as you reach your goals every month and see your progress much more often. To make things easier, you may want to focus on just one part of your body every month. If, for example, your goal is to reach a certain 1RM for every exercise, make your goal for February to add a couple pounds to your squat. While you should still be working the other parts of your body, allowing yourself to focus on one per month will simplify your process.