One of the top reasons people don’t go to the gym is that they don’t have a goal or are discouraged by their goal. The goals you set make a huge difference on your fitness journey. They can be the difference between a healthier, happier lifestyle and the stress of feeling like healthy is impossible.

Fitness goals 1

Why Fitness Goals Matter

Not that many people go to the gym or live healthy lives just because that’s their natural bent. If you’re trying to make a change, chances are you have some kind of goal. You want to lose weight, have more energy, etc.

Realistic fitness goals are specific goals for what you want to accomplish. These kinds of goals matter because they:

  • Help you identify a game plan for action
  • Get (and keep) you motivated
  • Improve your focus when you’re taking action
  • Put the power to change your life in your hands

How to Set Realistic Goals

Goals specific to fitness must be realistic, or they will too easily discourage you or distract you. Some helpful tips for setting realistic fitness goals include:

Fitness goalsPlay it SMART

A general rule of thumb for creating realistic goals is to apply the acronym SMART. Goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Sticking to these traits will make it easier to set goals you can actually reach.

Set Incremental Goals

One big goal can be overwhelming. It’s wise to break goals into short-term and long-term goals. For example, a goal of running a marathon could be split into small goals like:

  • Run 5 miles in less than an hour
  • Run 4 times a week for 2 months
  • Etc.

These smaller “milestone goals” will help you stay on track and motivated.

Make Goals Positive

Fitness goals 2Instead of expressing your goals negatively, make them positive. For example, don’t aim to “lose weight,” aim to “reach X number of pounds.” This, along with positive support like what a personal trainer offers, will make goal-setting and hard work more encouraging.


Find a Way to Track Your Progress

Realistic goals are measurable. You want to set goals you can track so you are encouraged as you make progress. Plus, if you get off track, having a way to check in on your goals will help you recalculate what to do next.

 

Making Goals Into a Game Plan

Moving from goal-setting to making a game plan is easier when your goals are realistic. Write down your SMART goal and then make a plan of action that is measurable and specific. It’s okay to bring your written plan to the gym to help you stay on track!


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