As a trainer, I can’t count the number of times a new client has come to me on their first day and told me their goal is “to be toned,” or “to feel stronger.”
Those are NOT goals. I repeat, THOSE ARE NOT GOALS.
They are a starting point for creating goals.
Goals need to have an end point, and those statements do not. They’re vague and don’t really give trainers anything. It’s like going to a movie and when someone asks you how it was, you say “it was good.” Okay…. but tell me more…
In order to take those statements and create concrete goals from them, you need to dig deeper. What do those statements actually mean to you? It can be different for everyone.
One person might want to be able to lift 200lbs in order to feel stronger, another person might want to move a box for their job from point A to point B without being winded. It’s all relative.
There are some criteria goals need in order to be ready for you to work towards. They need a quantity (an end point), a deadline, and to be attainable in that length of time.
Most people, including me, don’t automatically think of fitness in terms of numbers, but to create a solid goal, you need to know when you reach it. You don’t know when you attain abstract concepts of ‘toned,’ and ‘strong.’ So you need to find a quantity to attach to those concepts. Maybe for being more toned, it’s losing a number of inches off your waist, and maybe for being stronger it’s a number of pounds lifted, or number of reps performed. You have to decide what it means to you.
The next thing you need is a deadline. If your goal is open ended, you don’t really need to work on it. There is no reason to. But when you attach a due date to it, all of a sudden, the work that needs to be done becomes more real. Goals are essentially dreams with a plan to reach them, and to stay on track, you need a timeline.
The last thing you need to do with your goal is to check it for attainability. They need to be realistic. If you have never lifted a weight before, lifting hundreds of pounds in a few months, is not realistic. It’s just not. It takes time to build strength and the muscle required to lift the weight. On the other side, if toning is what you are looking for, it takes time for your body to adapt and change so maybe losing 10 inches off your waist in month isn’t realistic.
If you need help setting your fitness goals, you can download my fitness goal setting workbook. I got you!