When the new year starts, its time to get your goals ready. No matter what your endeavor, having a clear goal in mind is the first step toward success. You have to know where you’re starting before you can create a map to get there, so having clearly defined goals is important. Just saying you want to be fitter isn’t a goal. It’s a wish or hope at best. Knowing exactly what you want to change to feel fitter is the key to setting a good goal.
Do you want to lose weight? If so, how much weight do you want to lose? Are building muscles more important? If so, is it the muscle tissue you want or is it the strength, there’s a big difference. Getting stronger doesn’t necessarily mean bulking up. You will be building muscle tissue, but not like those of a body builder. If you want the body of a body builder, how much do you want to increase each muscle group? If you want overall fitness, set four goals, one for each area; balance, endurance, strength and flexibility.
Give yourself a time limit.
There are so many ways to procrastinate and the easiest one to use is to avoid a time frame for your goal. You can pick the number of weeks to achieve your goal but I personally like three months. You’ll see major changes in that amount of time, but it’s not so long that you’ll lose interest. Make sure your goal matches your time frame. If your goal is difficult, such as shedding over 50 pounds, break it down to smaller goals, giving each one a specific time to achieve.
Make sure you can measure your goal.
Setting a measurement for a weight loss goal is relatively easy to measure. If you want to lose ten pounds, the scale will tell you whether you lost it or not. It’s specific. If you want to build your endurance, you need to think of a way to measure it. It might be climbing several flights of stairs. If you can barely climb one flight of stairs without stopping, set a goal for climbing ten flights. To make it more challenging, set a time goal, too.
- Use the SMART system for goal setting. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time frame.
- Work with a personal trainer to create a program that will help you reach your fitness goals. Once you know where you want to go, creating the path is easier.
- Know where you are on your journey at all times. Track your progress. Break your goal down to even smaller bites. If your goal is losing ten pounds in three months, shedding a pound a week will get you there easily.
- Make sure your goals are realistic. There’s nothing more defeating than failing to achieve a goal. If the goal isn’t attainable, you’ve set yourself up for failure. You don’t have to abandon big goals, just break them down to mini-goals that you can achieve and work your way toward the big one.