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The Old Way of Setting Goals is Broken (here’s why)

Have you ever started a goal?

If you’re a human being reading this, I already know the answer is yes. It’s a perpetual part of life that we’re “supposed” to do- set goals.

Aim high. Challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. We’ve heard it all and done it all, twice.

I want to ask you now, the more important question. How many of those goals have you hit?

More specifically, how many times have you started and stopped?

I get it. I’m not here to judge, that’s not in my nature and honestly I’ve got plenty of my own grass to water before I start criticizing yours.

I’m here to shed some light on this subject of goals and to let you know that I get it and it’s okay.

We’re not taught how to truly set a goal.

Now stay with me here. This is not going to be another boring diatribe about why you need to have goals. In fact, I’m going to probably go against most things that you’ve heard in the past.

I hope you’re cool with that. Here we go.

Motivation is dead. It sucks. Stop trying to find it.

The old model of getting what you want is broken. Here’s what we usually do:

Set a target that we want —-> Figure out “why” —-> Figure out how to get it

That’s it. We arbitrarily set a goal based on something we’ve heard, someone else tells us or simply because we think that we “should” do that.

Then we soul search about why we should want this, because everyone says we need to find our why.

Then we set some unrealistic expectations that we have to meet every day and every week because we think that motivation and dedication will get us to our goal, ultimately making us happy.

Sound about right?

Here’s what happens within this whole goal setting time frame.

A mentor of mine explained this idea to me a few years ago, it’s pure genius because we all do it, we just never really notice what’s going on at the time.

There are four major stages of change.

Before I get into those, here’s something to think about.

Humans are motivated by two things:

1). Moving toward pleasure

2). Moving away from pain

Usually it’s more about the latter, but it depends on the person. Many people are a mix of the two, depending on where they are at in their life. The reason I am diving into this is because we don’t set our foundation when we set goals.

A goal is typically based on what we think we want in that moment, without doing enough digging to determine if it’s truly what we want (or want to move away from).

There are four phases of change. Everyone goes through this process and where you get stuck will determine if you are going to achieve the goal, or get stuck in the drift and repeat the process over and over again.

Phase 1 = Uninformed optimism

This phase is the beginning of a new goal. It’s the shiny object, the excitement and the time that you feel “this” is the one that will be successful. You are gung-ho and ready but you haven’t necessarily thought through the whole process yet.

Phase 2 = Informed Pessimism

This is the phase that kicks in after a few weeks or maybe a month. As it relates to fitness, let’s say you started a new workout plan and went hard right off the bat. This is about the time that you lose steam with that plan because you may not be seeing results, maybe you started out too fast and you’re sore or injured, you get bored and ultimately you realize just how much work it is and you aren’t really prepared for that.

The shine is wearing off and you start to drift.

Phase 3 = The Valley of Despair

A good friend and mentor of mine named this phase and I think it fits pretty well. It sounds a bit depressing and unfortunately this is where most people get stuck, so it is.

This phase comes after the pessimism and you are starting to feel pretty bad about yourself because you just can’t “get it together” once again. You started strong, then you faded out and now you’re drifting. This drift period may last for a week, a month or even a year. You go along without a goal and not really doing much, until the next shiny thing comes along.

This is the interesting and critical phase because what direction you go from here determines your success.

If you swing back to the left and start over at phase 1 with a new shiny plan, you are likely going to continue that process of Phase 1 —> Phase 2 —> Phase 3 and then rinse and repeat.

If you can get yourself out of phase 3 and into phase 4, you are winning. Phase 4 is SUCCESS.

Getting there means you have hit that goal. How do we get out of the phase 3 drift?

Here is where the real goal setting magic comes in. We set short term outcomes that have two criteria:

1). They are measurable

2). We care about them

Using those two as your compass, then you start to dig into what you want or what you want to move away from. Keep it very simple as you start out. Too many people get overwhelmed because they set huge goals and it’s either too much in the beginning or they just don’t know where to start.

Begin with a habit that you want to nail. Make it measurable, simple and challenging but not overwhelming.

This is not sexy, at all. It’s not a magic fix to your problems because it takes time. We are ultimately changing the operating system of your brain. As humans we are hard wired to want everything now and when that doesn’t happen, that’s usually what leads us into that phase three drift.

So as we are working on these two criteria, we are doing two things. These are two of the most important things that we NEVER get taught.

Build Your Confidence

Manage Your Energy

Through our new process of setting goals, we can do both. We will no longer rely on starting and stopping, which decreases our confidence because we feel like a failure and it saps our energy because we’re trying to lean into this motivation that doesn’t exist.

What if instead we were just operating?

Not relying on anything other than the systems we put in place to execute every single day.

Crazy, right?

Once you have your goal – I recommend setting a big 90 day outcome and then having a 60 and a 30 day check point.

At that check point you’ll ask yourself:

1). Am I on track for my goal?

2). What have I done successfully to this point?

3). What do I need to course correct in the next 30 days?

This helps you to start pushing your new reality. Where we typically fall short is when our reality does not match our blueprint, aka what we say we want.

Every single day we’re taking action. How is that done?




Daily Wins

Accountability = Doing what you said you would do. Plain and simple. No stories, no yes or no, just ask yourself, did I do what I said I would?

Association = Being around people who have a likeminded approach. People that you can lean on who understand what you’re working to accomplish. You cannot underestimate this because when we want to change or level up into a new version of ourselves, we need people who challenge us and hold us to that standard. We don’t need enablers or people to coddle us. We need those that will tell us the truth.

Support = This type of change requires professional support. It does not count if you and your friend go to the gym together. That’s a nice start but eventually one of you will not want to go, then the other will be okay with it. You need a coach, someone who will support you when you need it but will hold you to the accountability you said you needed.

Daily Wins = Every day we need to build confidence. This is a simple tactic you can start as soon as you finish reading this. Grab a notebook or a journal and every night before you go to bed, write down three things that you did that were positive. They don’ have to be huge things, just small wins. This creates momentum and starts to shift your brain patterns to look for positive things, instead of thinking that everything we have done is meaningless.

Back to my point about motivation being dead. Think about the aspect of motivation like a cell phone battery. You only have so much of it during the day before you need to charge it up.

We are making hundreds of decisions each day. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just stick to a simple plan that doesn’t require you to do anything but do what you said you would?

It seems so crazy and simple.

It is.

It all comes back to our big two. Create confidence and manage energy.

When we follow the plan that leads us to our 90 day outcome, we stay in our support system and we celebrate our daily wins we are building confidence and we have a lot more energy for the important stuff because we’re not constantly chasing the next big thing, trying to get motivated.

If you’re feeling like you’re ready to get off the hamster wheel of starting and stopping, join me and the Durbrow Performance family in kick starting that journey. 

Click here to fill out an application form. If this is a good fit, we’ll get on the phone or in person to discuss the best plan for you.

May Client of the Month: Heather Rankin

Congratulations to our Client of the Month in Manchester: Heather Rankin!

What is your hometown?
Hampton, NH
What brought you to DPT?
I was 10 months post partum, and really needed a lifestyle change.
How long have you been training with us?
A year in August!
What do you do in the “real world?” (job, family, pets, etc)
I work as a brand manager for Beam Suntory. I spend my days in the car, on the road, making sure our brands get sold in and marketed in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. I live in a small town with my husband Matt, our daughter Emerson, and our two rescue mutts Riley and Romeo.
What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
Hmm… I did not always want to work in the liquor industry! My dream job was to be a midwife! I find everything about pregnancy and childbirth fascinating!
What is your favorite exercise and why?
This changes constantly. I have found my favorite exercise is always the one that challenges me the most. A few months ago it was box jumps, and currently it is sprints. I used to be someone who didn’t even like to walk, so now the fact that I love sprinting is crazy to me!
What is your biggest gym achievement so far?
Sit ups! I had a unplanned C-section and when I first started DPT I could not do a single sit up. My abs were totally shot. Now I can do as many as I want. I am so thankful for that!
What inspires and motivates you?
A few things. First it would be my daughter. I want to be fit so I can live to watch her life unfold, and I also want to be a woman she can be proud of. Secondly, my body is naturally more athletic and muscular. Growing up, I was never really told how to keep my body and mind healthy, so I had a lot of shame about looking different from other women. My definition of what beautiful was very skewed and when I found DPT, I found a tribe, and feel like I finally understand what my body and mind need to be whole. 
What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining or who has just joined DPT?
Just do it. Just walk through the door. This is such a caring, supportive, inspiring and powerful group. I have never been someone who enjoyed working out, and going for a 2 mile walk pained me. I could never stick to any gym routine, or diet.  I thrive on moving my body in some way every day, and work out at least 3 times a week whether it is here in the gym or on my own. I don’t think I’d even recognize the person I was a year ago  if I saw her today, and I could not be happier about that!


May Client of the Month: Filipe Barroso

Congratulations to our Client of the Month in Somerville: Filipe Barroso!

  1. What is your hometown?  Ludlow, Ma
  2. What brought you to DPT? I had been coming off of an ankle injury from a rec league and was looking to get back in the swing of things.  A fellow DPTer (John Park) had been going for a while and suggested I give it a try.  I took his recommendation and have been coming here ever since.
  3. How long have you been training with us? 6 years.
  4. What do you do in the “real world?” (job, family, pets, etc) I’m a software engineer at IBM.  I mostly work on the front end user interface. My wife (Anna) and I usually work out Tue/Thur/Sat.  When I’m not at work, I love doing outdoorsy things like: snowboarding, mountain biking, tennis etc.  I’m shooting for a tri-sprint this summer.
  5. What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you? I play the Saxophone (Alto & Tenor)
  6. What is your favorite exercise and why?  Tough one.  On one hand, I love launching wall balls to see how high I can get them.  However, what’s not to like about tire strikes. I’ll give tire strikes the slight edge here.
  7. What is your biggest gym achievement so far?  During one of the burpee challenges, I did 1200 burpees over the course of 2 hours.  I hate burpees, but I really wanted to win the team competition.  It was worth it in hindsight as we narrowly edged out the other team.  However, I’ll be fine if I never have to do another one again. 🙂
  8. What inspires and motivates you? I love pushing the limits.  There’s nothing like setting a goal that initially seems just out of reach only to find out that your mind/body was capable of doing it all along.
  9. What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining or who has just joined DPT? Love it, embrace it, and don’t be afraid to succeed.  You’ll be surprised in what you can accomplish if you give it a chance.

April Client of the Month: Jamie Khavari

Congratulations to our Client of the Month in Manchester: Jamie Khavari!


  1. What is your hometown? Billerica, Mass.
  2. What brought you to DPT? I had been going through the motions every day at the gym at work, but knew I needed a change. I wasn’t pushing myself at all and not seeing much in the way of results.
  3. How long have you been training with us? 1 year, first crew signed up in Manchester.
  4. What do you do in the “real world?” (job, family, pets, etc) I’ve worked for MPD since 2005 and currently work in the Domestic Violence Unit. I’m happily married to the woman of my dreams. No pets but that’s only due to current restrictions by landlord, there will definitely be a doggy in our future. 
  5. What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you? I volunteer for Caregivers which is an organization that assists senior citizens to maintain their independence, because I love the oldies!
  6. What is your favorite exercise and why? TRX rows, because they make me feel strong when I’m done.
  7. What is your biggest gym achievement so far? Getting stronger with squats, still have a long way to go, but have definitely made gains.
  8. What inspires and motivates you? My wife inspires me, she is always working on making herself a better person, which makes me want to do the same. I’ve always been blessed to have motivation on hand when I decide to do something, I can’t really say where it comes from.
  9. What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining or who has just joined DPT? I would definitely recommend DPT, the group setting and accountability are key. For anyone just joining, I would just say to keep coming. I’d like to say the classes get easier, but they don’t, but if you do the work you’ll see and feel results.

April Client of the Month: Marivic Cruz

Congratulations to our April Client of the Month in Somerville: Marivic Cruz!


  1. What is your hometown? San Francisco, CA

  2. What brought you to DPT? I was looking for a gym that’ll challenge me physically and that offered a nutrition program. 

  3. How long have you been training with us? 7 months! 

  4. What do you do in the “real world?” (job, family, pets, etc) I’m a first time mom, with a 19 month old daughter, a wife, and a marketing professional at Boston University.  

  5. What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you? I love emojis 😍🙃😘

  6. What is your favorite exercise and why? I love doing dead lifts on the trap bar! I love seeing my progression on how heavy I can lift! 

  7. What is your biggest gym achievement so far? Being able to feel comfortable and confident that I’m getting stronger and being smarter about my nutrition. 

  8. What inspires and motivates you? My family is everything. They inspire and motivate me to become the best version of me in everything I do. 

  9. What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining or who has just joined DPT? Joining DPT was an investment I made in myself and my return was a stronger and confident me. With an added bonus of being part of close knit community and having trainers that fully support your success. 

March Client of the Month: Amy Weibel

Congrats to our March Client of the Month in Manchester: Amy Weibel!

  1. What is your hometown?

Hudson NH


  1. What brought you to DPT?

Something needed to change. I was always tired, embarrassed of having my picture taken. My knee issues were causing a severe decline in my quality of life.


  1. How long have you been training with us?

Since July of 2016! Not quite a Manchester OG but close.


  1. What do you do in the “real world?” (job, family, pets, etc)

I am a learning advisor, which means I consult with the business, design, curate, build, and sometimes facilitate new learning programs. I am an older/middle child. If you look at any of those descriptions of what those mean they totally describe me. I have a ton of nieces and nephews, and an amazing husband that some ladies in the nutrition program have gotten to meet. When I get home I feel a little like Ace Ventura.. 4 cats 3 dogs and a 75g fish tank ( I used to have 4 tanks…) fun fact about my pets is we only have one cat that we were the first owners of everyone else was adopted in one way or another. With the latest puppy only being with her previous owner for a little over a month.


  1. What is one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

I have impromptu dance parties with my dogs while doing chores when my husband is not home.


  1. What is your favorite exercise and why?

It used to be the single handed KB swings with the switch because they seen so dangerous.. Now I am liking squats because they help me build muscle to support my knees and who does not like to have more muscles in their thighs… thick thighs save lives


  1. What is your biggest gym achievement so far?

Being able to do lunges of any kind. I came to DPT unable to make it up my stairs unassisted most days it was to the point my husband and I were trying to find a house with out steps.


  1. What inspires and motivates you?

Everyone here my night crew ladies always help me out to keep going or push me to want to try something that is harder than I think I can do.


  1. What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining or who has just joined DPT?

Just do it. It will be one of the best decisions of your life. Keep going it gets better never easier( the trainers find ways to keep you challenged). Get rid of your scale it lies. Use the measurements they take at the gym and how you feel as your measurement of progress. Everyone has set backs don’t use them as a crutch learn from them and surpass them.

What DO You Want?

I work with a lot of women.

And one of the most common questions that I ask them is this:

“What do you want?”

The most common answers?

To lose weight”

“To have more energy”

“To tone up my ______ (insert popular body
part here

The problem?

This ISN’T actually what they want at all…

Because the second I ask them WHY they want this?

I get completely different answers:

“So I can have more confidence”

“So I can stop feeling stressed”

“So I’m in control of my happiness”

See, most people focus on the WRONG things. They convince themselves that they want

When the truth is…

They just want that ‘something’ to facilitate something else.

Luckily, I’ve been in this game long enough to identify this at an early stage.

And it’s ONE of the many things that we teach in our programs.

If you’re tired of focusing on the WRONG thing?

And you’d like clarity on what you DO want?

Click on the link below:

For the Manchester area –>

For the Somerville area —>



This is INSANE

The definition of insanity is often said to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Think about that one for a second…

Are you doing that with your eating and your fitness?

You DO want to lose weight…

So why are you doing the same thing over and over again, struggling to get results?

This is a tough love kind of question-

How is that working for you?

I am not saying this from a place of judgement but from a place of empathy and understanding. I get it.

I do the same things that you do. I am stubborn, I try to do shit on my own, I don’t ask for help and a lot of the time. I get stuck in my own head and tell stories about why I can’t accomplish something.

I’m human.

You’re human.

But we’re not insane….

So we need to stop acting like it. Again, this is tough love for you.

If what you say you want is REALLY what you want, then why are you doing the same thing in order to get it?

Time for something different.

Getting back to basics is one of the best ways to start this process. Take a look at a few baseline areas of your life. If adjusted, these can make a big impact on many other areas. I call these cornerstone habits because they often push other things into a positive direction.

Strength & Conditioning Workouts 3x a week
3-4 servings of vegetables per day
Structure around your training (aka scheduled)
Accountability (a group training setting)

Do you have these things dialed in? If not, that’s where you start. Create a rule or non-negotiable around each one so it gets done, no questions asked, no stories told.

It seems simple and I know you want a better, more flashy answer. That’s not the way to get real results. Stick to the basics, work the process and tweak along the way. That’s it.

The Farmer Versus The Fireman

Do you know the difference between a fireman
and a farmer?

Weird question I know….but stay with me here.

Fireman = totally awesome and brave of course.

BUT, they come in once there’s an emergency and put it out. It’s not planned, it’s not expected and it’s certainly not welcomed.

A farmer = planning, process, patience and trust in the process.

See a farmer doesn’t always know exactly how the crop will grow and it certainly doesn’t grow overnight.

But he has a plan, he follows it step by step each week and each day and he has faith in the process.

He’s not running out and changing the plan when he doesn’t see the corn popping up out of the ground after only two days.

(kind of like what we do when we’re on a “diet” and we don’t see results right away)

We become more like the fireman- burn it down, put it out and start over.

Emergency mode

How many times have you done that?

A lot, I’d guess….

So how can you be more like the farmer?

First off you need a plan. You need someone that can coach you on the plan, keep you on track and ensure that you have faith.

That coach that can help you just trust the process, track your progress and show you the incremental change which will ensure that you get long lasting results instead of a quick fix.

Sounds better than another diet that won’t last, right?

Once you have the coach and the system to just continuously follow, without second guessing yourself, then you can focus on the little things. The little things are not fancy or sexy but they are the staples of any successful program or lifestyle.

-drink more water
-strength train
-get enough sleep
-move your body daily
-lower your stress levels

Nothing revolutionary here, but it’s just simple work, day in and day out. Stay consistent, stay compliant and don’t burn it all to the ground if you have a rough day. Simply get back into the plan that you set for yourself and have faith in the result.

What DO You Want?

I was listening to a podcast recently and they talked about this exercise in determining your goals. I wanted to share it with you.

There are three steps to it….

The first step is to write down what you want. Do this in one category at a time, aka in weight loss and then in your personal or family life, financial, etc.

You get the idea. Just don’t try to lump all your goals into on place.

Once you write everything down that you want, and you’ve really dug into it, go to the second step.

Write down all the obstacles and things that are stopping you from getting what you want.

Then, the third and final step is to write down which of those obstacles are in your control.

You’ll find that many of them are NOT.

It’s just stories and “stuff” that we manifest in our heads.

This just gives you a clearer picture about what you can actually accomplish and what’s standing in your way. Look at the things that ARE standing in your way and think about how you can create a plan or lifestyle to work around them.

For many of us, it’s creating a habit around that one thing.

Not working out on your own? (so boring, BTW)

Skipping the gym because there’s no accountability?

Not sure if you’re doing the right stuff?

Spinning your wheels and not actually getting any results?

You can create a habit around this….join a program that hold you to that higher standard, gives you the structure and creates accountability around the habit of training and on the goals that you want to accomplish.

I get it, it’s a big step, big change and an investment to hire a coach.

My question to you though is, do you want the same results you’ve always had? If so, keep doing what you’re doing.

If you’re ready for something different, you have to DO something different.

That’s where our 14 Day Fat Furnace comes in. It’s just $87 and you’ll come train with us 3-4 times per week, you’ll get a step by step plan for your food and most importantly, you’ll get positive momentum and the belief that you CAN do it.

Click the link below to apply (we start March 30th, you’ll get all the details once you’re accepted).

If you’re in the Manchester area, click here <<<<—–

If you’re in the Somerville area, click here <<<<—–

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