Goal setting is the first step towards achieving your dreams no matter how big they are. However, even when you have the best of intentions and the determination to get what you want in life, without a plan and a realistic goal, you may stumble and fail to succeed. The same is true with fitness goal setting.
The first time you set your goal, you may be full of energy and motivation but over time, your enthusiasm may wane because you’re doing too much too soon or you’re just not getting the kind of results you want. Then, you’d probably think that there’s something wrong with your fitness routine. But it is more likely that there’s something wrong with how you set your goals. Here are some tips to help you set your fitness goals the right way.
1. Define your goals and break them down. You need to define a set of fitness goals that will bring you to your dream one step at a time. Thus, breaking big goals into smaller and realistic ones are both mentally and physically gratifying. Make your short-term goals achievable and as you progress so should your goals.
For instance, for a long-term goal of completing a 5K walk, you can start with a five-minute walk once or twice a day. Then, after a few days or so, you can walk for 20 to 30 minutes three or four times in a week. Don’t push yourself too hard. Otherwise, you might end up in the hospital ward instead of in the gym.
2. State your goals in positive terms. The way you state your goal also affects how you behave towards achieving that goal. Frame your goal towards achieving a positive state rather than stopping a negative one. For instance, saying, “I don’t want to be a couch potato anymore” only makes you feel guilty and weak. But if you say, “I will become more physically active” you are giving yourself a more positive and better image of yourself which is also a good form of encouragement.
3. Goals must be clear, specific and measurable. Such goals enable you to track your progress. Imagine a goal of “losing weight” – how would you know if you have already lost enough weight? It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re not sure if you’re actually making progress or if you don’t know when to say you’ve finally achieved your goal.
3. Set a behavioral goal rather than a result-oriented goal. Behavioral goals allow you to feel more in control. For instance, deciding to replace your mid-day snack with a 15-minute walk would be easier to do than wanting to lose 5 pounds. Goals like being able to run a 5K race or wanting to touch your toes without bending your knees are good examples of behavioral goals.
4. Make your goals more personal. It is easy to find a number of reasons why you need to set a goal for yourself. But goals need to be more personal than generic. The more significant the goal is to your life, the more determined you will be to achieve it. Saying, “I want to be able to fit into my wedding gown and look fabulous on my wedding” is a good example of a personal goal