My Goals for 2011 – Professional

Over the next two weeks, I’m going to give you guys a little insight as to my goal-setting process for the upcoming year.

This is something that I get asked about quite frequently, so I sincerely hope it doesn’t come off as narcissistic, or at the very least, a little too self-centered!

At the end of every year, I try and ask myself what Jim Rohn would call “the tough questions.” A few that I ask on a yearly basis include:

  • What did I do really well this past year?
  • What do I still need to work on or address?
  • What are my strong areas?
  • What areas need more work or refinement?
  • In a perfect situation, what would I be doing more of?
  • In a perfect situation, what would I be doing less of?

With this information in hand, I can critically evaluate where I’m at, as well as where I’d like to go.

Today’s post will cover things from a professional perspective, and later on, we’ll discuss things regarding my own training and performance.


This past year I spoke approximately four times; these included:

  • The Midwest Performance Enhancement Seminar
  • Perform Better – Chicago
  • An in-service for the University of Louisville
  • The Bulletproof Knees and Back Seminar

Public speaking is actually something I enjoy, as I feel as though it’s easier for me to relay my information via the spoken word versus the written one.

Perhaps most importantly, I’m often speaking to fitness professionals in these situations, which really leverages my time.  Think about it like this….

If I got into IFAST and help 10 people, those 10 people are better off.

But what if I teach 20 or 30 trainers or coaches my methodology, and they each have 10 people they work with. Now I’ve positively affected and/or influenced 200 or 300 different people, not including the coaches and trainers themselves!

The problem is, these are also draining.  In my final preparations for Vancouver I worked several hours each day rehearsing, refining PowerPoints, etc.  It’s a very labor-intensive process.

Next year, I’d like to do approximately 4 seminars again.  With my wife and I expecting our first child early in the year, I’m not going to actively seek out speaking opportunities like I typically would.

Regardless, this is still something that I enjoy and will continue to work on going forward.

2011 Goal: 4 public speaking events

Blogs and Articles

The blog is a mainstay on the site, and it’s grown exponentially over the past year.  As the web has changed and evolved over the years, people have really shifted away from typical articles and newsletters to blogs.

In 2011, I need to strike a better balance between high-time/high-reward  items such as manual and DVD production, versus lower-time/lower-reward items like blog posts and articles.

Does this mean the blog is going to stop altogether? Absolutely not.

Does that mean I need to take a bit of a step back and focus on bigger, more in-depth projects? Yes, it does.

Over the years, just like my site has changed, so has my readership. People now want more in-depth information from me, which is evidenced by how popular my big blog posts and videos are.

If you want stuff that just scratches the surface, there are literally thousands of fitness blogs and websites out there to do that.

If you want deeper, more thought-provoking information, I think that’s where I’m best served.  So definitely stay tuned for more big projects in 2011.

2011 Goal: 2-3 Blog Posts per Week

Manuals, DVD’s, Etc.

In 2011, my goal is to release three new projects, and possibly a fourth.

A busy year, you ask? Of course – but a lot of the leg work on these projects is already done.

Next year, my goal is to complete the following:

  • The Bulletproof Knees and Back Seminar Series (recording is already complete, in this case).
  • The Bulletproof Back manual.
  • The UnBodybuilder e-book.

Eric Cressey, Mike Reinold and myself have tossed around the idea of a collaborative project as well, so hopefully we can pull that together, too.

The seminar will be ready (hopefully) in the next month or two – James is hard at work inserting the Powerpoint slides and video clips as we speak. After that, it comes down to minor edits, art work, and then pulling together the marketing.

The Bulletproof Back manual actually has about 140 pages already complete.  While the seminar series is geared more towards trainers and coaches, this will be geared towards the end-user. Essentially, it will say “do this, do this, do that, etc.” Very straight-forward.

The UnBodybuilder manual is something I’ve wanted to work on for a long time. It’s going to really stir some things up, as least as far as “corrective exercise” and movement training goes.  In all honesty, it shouldn’t take more than a month to complete, and I’ve already gotten a good head start on this as well.

ADD be damned – when 2011 hits, the back manual is back in production. Stay tuned!

2011 Goal: Complete the Big Three projects

“In the Trenches Fitness” Podcasts

Much like the blog, this is more of a labor of love than something I do for monetary gain.

Regardless, I feel like the podcasts are continuing to improve, and I’ve had numerous people comment lately to that effect as well.

With that being said, my goal is to release 1-2 of these per month. The biggest issue now is dialing in schedules, as many of the people I interview are as busy (if not more so!) than I am.

2011 Goal: 1-2 Podcasts per Month

Continuing Education

In 2010, I think I did ok as far as continuing education goes.  I definitely picked up some new stuff, refined my thought-processes on old stuff, and did a fairly good job of figuring out where certain things fit into my overall philosophy.

I can tell you this, though: I could’ve done better.  A LOT BETTER.

I’ve done a ridiculous amount of research over the years with regards to knee and lower back dysfunction.  And you know if we’re talking about knees and backs, we’re forced to learn a ton about the hips as well.  I’m definitely no expert in these areas, but I would feel confident talking to most people on these areas of the body.

At the end of the day, I even feel pretty good about my shoulder knowledge.  I’m not on Bill Hartman’s, Eric Cressey’s or Mike Reinold’s level, but I’m no slouch there, either.

In contrast, there are three areas I really want to focus on in the upcoming year:

  • Diaphragm/Breathing/Rib Cage
  • Ankles
  • Elbows

Let’s look at each of these a bit more in-depth.

The Postural Restoration Institute stuff (PRI) has really changed our training process at IFAST, and for good reason.  So far, though, I’ve only reviewed the lower body course (Myokinematic Restoration).

I need to review the Postural Respiration course, and just get more in tune with the interplay between the diaphragm, rib cage, t-spine, etc.  It’s fascinating stuff when you dig in, and I’ve seen numerous professionals talking about this in some form or fashion over the past year (Craig Liebenson, Pavel Kolar, Charlie Weingroff, etc.)

In this regard I know enough to be dangerous, but I want to know a lot more.

Ankles are another joint that don’t get the attention they deserve.  I work with so many athletes now, and I really want to firm up my understanding of the various bones/joints involved, passive and active restraints, and how they work together to promote fluid and functional movement.

Finally, after spending a weekend with Dave Tate and the lifters from Elite FTS, I respect that I simply don’t know enough about elbows, and want to really dive in and learn more about them.  So many of these guys suffer from elbow pain it’s ridiculous.

If I can help them get out of pain, or decrease their dysfunction, I feel like I could at the very least add years to their lifting career.  In a best case scenario, I feel like you add years to their career AND add pounds to their total.

2011 Goal: Learn more about the diaphragm/rib cage, ankles and elbows


So that’s what I have on tap for 2011. Any thoughts or feedback?

Anything you’d personally like to see from me?

And finally, I’d love to hear about your professional goals as well. Be sure to drop me a line below and let me know what you’re thinking!

All the best


(Lead Photo Courtesy of Pilottage)


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  1. Mike,

    Excellent goals and ambitions. I look forward to learning of what you learn this year. If you need any assistance in doing so, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Carson Boddicker

  2. Mike,

    You’re going to be busy! Thanks for passing on your knowledge in 2010. 2011 is going to be great year, I can’t wait to see the content you produce.

    If you need any testing or research conducting then I would love to help where I can.

    All the best,

  3. Mike, I’m continually impressed and inspired by your work. I’m sorry I missed your seminar here in Vancouver but am extremely happy you’ll be putting out a DVD.

    Keep up the great work. Thank you for your dedication to our craft.


  4. My goals for next year are pretty simple.
    Increase the quality and intensity of the fun things I do.
    Work on fewer projects.
    Spend more time completely doing nothing.
    Reduce pizza intake.
    Let more mildly important things not get done.
    Drive Ferraris in the south of France.

  5. Hey Mike,

    You have goal setting down to a science…they are specific, measurable, and attainable (as far as I know haha)

    As a new Physiotherapist my professional goals include:

    1) Becoming much better at understanding the interrelationship between body segements….eg. If the left innominate is anteriorly shifted, how will that really affect the hips, knee, ankles, foot, lumbar spine, shoulder etc…and then learning how to best treat proximal dysfunction to help distal problems

    2) Becoming a better manual therpaist. I am taking con-ed in this area, but there is still much to learn and only so much time to do it.

    3) Expanding my own blog (see my webpage). I am an avid reader of the literature and enjoy reviewing it and making it a more “fun” read for those that are interested.

    4) Having a strong rational for EVERYTHING I do with my patients in a treatment session. I never want to just be fooling around with the body, I want to know why am doing something and what I hope to achieve by doing so…it’s a lot harder of a process then I thought when I was in school.

    All the best,

  6. Hey Mike,

    I have learned a ton from you, as well as Eric, Bill, Alwyn, McGill, Etc. Yet I am still just getting going in this field. I am ‘trying’ to get my business going, yet it has been difficult. On top of that I am on a very limited budget. My main goal is to obviously build clientele in 2011. Do you have ‘any’ advice you can possibly give me, as I pursue what I love to do? Thanks Mike, Hope you have a marry Christmas!

    Kyle Simpson

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