What do you want?
That’s an interesting question. When you exercise, what is your purpose? What do you see in your head? Think about it. Why are you doing what you are doing? “What are your goals?” is a very salesman-ish question, but it is an extremely important one. It impacts everything you should or shouldn’t do in the gym.
Is your primary goal to look like the Men’s Health cover guy? Then you should do lots of cardio. Is it to deadlift 500 lbs? Then you shouldn’t do lots of cardio. These are generalizations, but you get the point.
Having a goal in mind gives you something definite to work towards and it gives you motivation. If you tell yourself, “My goal is to drop 10 lbs. in the next six weeks,” then you see a finish line and a purpose and, provided you work intelligently towards that goal, you will see a certain amount of success. Even if you only drop 7 lbs. you can take that success and learn from it and hopefully hit your goal 100% the next time.
If this is something you haven’t thought about, do this: Think about what you see in your head when you are exercising. When you do a bench press do you think about having chiseled features or do you think about getting up as much weight as you can? Or do you think about something else? Getting to the bottom of that should help you realize what you really want and then you can take the steps to get there.