1. Consider where you are now.
As a trainer I see many people who say they want to do something in a time frame that is completely unrealistic. If you have never run a day in your life and want to run a marathon in 3 months (yes I’ve heard this one), you may be overreaching. If you have never lifted a weight and want to deadlift 300lbs in 6 months, you may be overreaching. May it be possible for some people? Potentially a select few with strong backgrounds in other types of athletics or manual labour, but for a novice, no. But with that being said, those numbers can be great goals for people in the long term. But starting with those in the short term, will leave you disappointed. If your goal is weight loss related, you also need to consider where you are. Someone with more weight to lose can shed pounds faster than someone who doesn’t. It also may be that if you don’t have much weight left to lose, that your focus shifts to body composition as opposed to the number on the scale. Muscle is denser than fat so it weighs more in a smaller space.
2. Make it exciting to you.
Does the idea of running a marathon excite you? If so, DO IT. Or, does the marathon sound like the most awful, gruelling experience one can endure? If so, DO NOT DO IT. Does lifting a heavy weight pump you up? DO IT. Or, does the idea of lifting a heavy weight sound ridiculous and over the top? If so, DO NOT DO IT. The goal itself needs to be motivating or you won’t work towards it. If you have set a goal and not achieved it, think about the goal itself. It may have been the wrong one for you. You are your own person and you have likes and dislikes. Trying to ignore those for the sake of fitness and consequently giving up, will stunt your progress more than starting with something that excites you and maybe adding in something more mentally challenging later on.
3. Make it Measurable.
If you don’t have some way to measure your progress how do you know when you get there? The two most frustrating things I hear when I start talking to clients about their goals are “I want to get toned,” and “I want to have more energy.” Okay, those are great ideas but those concepts are completely abstract and differ from person to person. How do you know when you have achieved being “toned,” or “having more energy?” You have to define that in a quantifiable way so that not only can you know when you reach your goals, but you can set new ones to keep progressing.
To learn more about goal setting, download the free fitness goal setting workbook on this site, or get in touch! You got this!