How To Set Fitness Goals
Are you ready to take action and make some changes to your health and fitness but no idea where to begin? Your health and fitness journey should start very simply with setting some fitness goals.
Goal setting is absolutely essential for success. Particularly when it comes to your body, health and fitness. Setting goals gives you a purpose and keeps you motivated to stay on track and measure your progress.
What are fitness goals?
A goal is a specific, measurable objective that a person plans to achieve in a certain time-frame. Goals can be an influential factor in determining and achieving what you want from life and in particular your fitness journey.
Setting your goals
It is extremely important when setting goals to follow the SMART technique i.e:
Clearly define and identify your goal. This is more than simply writing down a vague idea of what you are trying to achieve, you need to get very specific. This will help you track your progress along the way and allow you to plan the necessary actions needed to set about achieving this goal. Writing down something along the lines of ‘I want to lose weight’ would not be specific enough. Exactly how much weight do you plan on losing and in what time frame? How will you measure your progress and how often? Think about a clear direction and really dig deep. For example, a specific goal might be ‘I want to lose 5cm from my waist in 3 weeks’ time or ‘I want to take 3 minutes off my 5km time in 4 weeks’.
A goal that you can measure is crucial to long – term success. Having something to work towards will not only keep you motivated when you track your progress, this will also make it easier to recognize when you have reached your target. Some examples of measurable goals include: ‘running a new personal best over a certain distance’, ‘holding an exercise for a certain amount of time i.e. a plank for 1 minute’ and so on.
This is so important when it comes to setting your goals right at the beginning. Everybody loves a challenge but you have to make sure it is within your reach even if it does involve hard work. If you are a total beginner at running, setting your target as 40 minutes of non – stop running within 2 weeks would probably not be an achievable goal. Instead break it right down. Start with 5 minutes of non – stop running with a 5-minute break, build this up to 10 minutes, 15, 20 and so on as the weeks go on.
Your goals MUST be relevant to you and your lifestyle. Make sure if you have set a target of working out 6 times a week for one hour at a time that you can actually fit this in. If you have a lot of social or work commitments this might not be possible. Instead try breaking it down to 20 minutes, utilizing your lunch breaks etc.
Time – bound:
Your goals should always be time specific i.e. there should be a certain deadline or time whereby you can mark your progress and assess whether you have achieved this goal. By setting yourself a specific time – frame you are far more likely to stay motivated and on track with your progress.
Keeping track of your progress
When it comes to keeping on top of your goals, it is essential to regularly check in with your progress in case of a change in circumstances; i.e. illness, injury, reaching your goals sooner than planned or just general life obstacles! A great way to keep track is by writing your progress down in a diary or using a fitness tracker – have a read of the best ones here! https://www.wareable.com/fitness-trackers/the-best-fitness-tracker
This might seem like a lot to take in at first but once you get into a regular system of writing, planning and setting your monthly goals it will become second nature. It is so important to remember that this is your journey, and the only goals that matter to you are yours. Do not get caught up in comparing your progress to someone else’s as we are ALL at very different stages of our journey. Stay in your lane, focus on you and results will follow.