Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

It takes a lot to finally decide you want to get into better shape and live a healthier lifestyle. However, in order to achieve that, you have to create goals. Setting realistic fitness goals can be tough. You want them difficult enough to be exciting and push you beyond your comfort zone, but you don’t want them so hard that they’re unachievable. Goals need to be specific and have a timeline. For instance, “I want to lose weight,” is not a goal. Neither is, “I want to lose five pounds.” You need to be specific about the amount of weight you want to lose and have a time frame. “I will lose five pounds within a month,” is more like it.

What’s wrong with, “I want to get fitter?”

That sounds like it might be a general goal, but what does it mean? You need to be able to measure a goal. That’s one reason trainers first assess each client before training starts and records that information. They then help the client set a goal based on the information. If the client isn’t fit, a goal of doing three sets of five pushups by the end of three weeks may be super challenging, but still doable and is extremely specific, with a time frame to complete the task at hand.

Goals are a roadmap on your journey to fitness.

You wouldn’t take a trip without knowing where you’re starting and where you want to end, plus, the amount of time you have to get to that point. That’s what goals do. They’re a path to follow to your destination of fitness. They also serve another important purpose. They help you to stay focused and motivated, both while you’re trying to achieve them and much later in your workout program. If you’re feeling punked out because you don’t think you’re making much progress, look back at the first goals you set and you’ll feel much better.

There are long term goals and short term goals.

When a client has a huge amount of weight to lose or is a long way from being fit. The first goal they think of is usually huge! This is where being realistic is important. If you have 100 pounds to lose, focusing on that 100 pounds will be discouraging. I’ve had one client who had close to that amount to lose and wanted to shed it in a month. That’s just ridiculous and unrealistic. Big goals should be broken down into smaller goals that are easier and quicker to achieve. For instance, losing ten pounds for the month and dropping from 210 to 200 in one month is realistic and achievable. The following month, it could be shedding another ten to drop from 200 to 190.

– Fitness goals don’t have to be weight loss goals. They can be endurance goals, such as increasing your distance or length of time, strength goals that include lifting more weight and flexibility goals, such as being able to touch your toes.

– Setting goals can actually help you find creative ways to achieve those goals. They’ll be on your mind and that puts your focus on fitness.

– To be successful, your goal needs to be something you really want, so you’ll commit to it. Keeping goals realistic not only provides motivation, it provides a sense of


– Always write down and record goals. It adds another dimension to the dedication of achievement.

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