You have a vision in your mind of your next goal. Maybe you want to see your six-pack, become a fitness model or maybe you would like to run your first Mud Run or half marathon. Whatever goal you choose, you should definitely take the time to make sure your goals and motivation match.

Most people jump into a goal full of excitement. They’ve made the decision and thought about the results. They might have even done some research on Google for workouts, Pinterest for nutrition ideas and YouTube for posing. However, many of us fail to see the ultimate requirements to get where we want to go.

It’s easy to have unrealistic expectations of the work required, the time it takes and the dedication that will be necessary. Most goals will require some sacrifice. Time with friends may become limited. Going out all weekend may sabotage your efforts. Grandma’s cooking may be off limits for a while.

When you make that decision to strive for a big goal, there are some important questions you should ask yourself:

1. Do you truly know what it takes? Do you know how many workouts a week, what you will need to eat, and what changes in your life you will have to make?

2. Are you willing to work for it? Don’t underestimate the hard work that will be involved. A six-pack will not show up in only three weeks.

3. How will you stay motivated? You will have to find a way to stay disciplined, even when you don’t “feel” like doing the work.

4. Have you penciled out your timeline? Can you stick with it, and is it realistic?

5. Do you have the resources? Eating right, gym memberships, supplements and such aren’t cheap. Plus, all those overtime hours at work may not be feasible with your goal.

Your best bet for reaching your goal is to do your homework. Know what it takes, find a mentor who is where you want to be, and find a way to be emotionally attached to your goal. You should be so invested in your goal that even when obstacles appear and the going gets rough … YOU DON’T QUIT!