Setting Fitness Goals for Better Health

Setting the right goal is the most important step in starting a new fitness program… unfortunately it is often underestimated or completely overlooked.  How often do you hear people tell you that they joined a health club last year, but never go? Or they lost 5 pounds only to put back on 10? These unfortunate endings could have been prevented if the right goals were established in the beginning of the process.  

So how do you set the right goals and then actually achieve them?

The first thing to keep in mind is that most fitness related goals need at least 12 weeks for you to see measurable results.  Most people give up just about the time their bodies start changing.

Secondly, you need to focus on one primary goal at a time. Then it is important for you to have a way to monitor and track how you’re doing during the process.  And finally after the 12- weeks are over, you should re-establish a new goal based on your training results.  In doing so you are creating smaller more manageable goal increments. Success of any type often happens in small steps rather than unrealistic leaps.

Use the following steps to select the right fitness goal:

Meaningful: Make sure you’re goal is something that is truly meaningful in the ‘now’…

List 3 things you really want to change or improve about your body (in order of priority)
(For example: 1. Lose weight; 2. Improve Joint Health; 3. Tone up)

Measurable: Now look at the three goals you listed and decide if and how you can measure them.

1. ____________________________
2. ____________________________
3. ____________________________

(For example: Lose weight: measure by scale; Feel better: self evaluation of energy level; less joint pain; Tone up lower body: tape measure)

Manageable: Take another look at your potential goals and decide which might be the most manageable, realistic and achievable over a twelve-week training period.

List the increment you would be trying to achieve per week.
1. __________________per week
2. __________________per week
3. __________________per week

(for example: Lose weight: 1 pound; Feel better:10%;  Tone up: lose ¼ inch off hips and/or thighs)

This process will help you recognize which of your potential goals might be the best to work on first.  Once you have achieved your goal, you can continue on the same path, advance the measurement or start working on one of the remaining two goals.

This systematic approach to goal setting and achievement can make the difference between ‘success’ or ‘depress’ when it comes to your next fitness program… so get goal setting and GO!