Achieving better fitness is a goal that many people have. Unfortunately, many of those goals never reach fruition because of how they were set. Difficult goals are good to have, but impossible goals lead people to quit.
Imagine that you’re standing at the bottom of a set of stairs inside a home. Can you reach the top of the stairs if you took just one step?
For a small set of stairs, perhaps 2 or 3 that need to be climbed, it is possible to do it all in one step. If you’re going from the first floor to the second floor, however, you might have 10+ steps staring at you. One giant step isn’t going to get you to the top.
Yet when it comes to a person’s fitness goals, the expectation of going from the bottom to the top immediately is often there. Then, when it isn’t achieved, that person gives up on their goal and spirals toward poor health.
That’s why knowing how to set a good fitness goal is an essential component of better health. Here’s what you need to do.
Follow the SMART Philosophy When Setting Fitness Goals
Many businesses are putting their employees through “SMART Training” to improve their goal-setting skills and this practice works just as well for your personal fitness. “SMART” is an acronym that stands for 5 specific guidelines that must be followed when setting a goal.
- Specific. You must have a fitness goal that is clear, but also easy to understand.
- Measureable. You must set a specific goal to reach that can be measured. Instead of “losing weight,” switch your fitness goal to “I want to lose 5 pounds this month.”
- Attainable. You must also set a goal that you can reach. If you have 50 pounds to lose, that isn’t going to happen in a month. It might happen in 6-12 months. Make it difficult, but not impossible, so you can experience success.
- Relevant. Your fitness goals must be relevant to your situation. If your body composition analysis shows that you have a healthy level of fat to your body, trying to lose more weight is probably not the right goal to set. Joining a gym isn’t a goal either. You must go to the gym for your fitness goal to be relevant.
- Timing. Set deadlines for each goal that you create and then hold yourself to those deadlines. If you give yourself an infinite amount of time to lose 5 pounds, the chances are good that you’ll never really lose that weight.
This, however, is only the first step in the goal-setting process. SMART goals can help you find success, but you must also be publicly accountable to your goals. Tell your significant other what your plans are and have them help you achieve them.
It is also necessary to make sacrifices to reach certain fitness goals. If you need to add 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine, that might mean eliminating 20 minutes of video game time.
There will be roadblocks and detours that are unexpected during the time you’re working on progressing toward your goals. Acknowledge them, find a new route to proceed forward once again, or take the time to resolve the issue that is standing in your way.
Most Importantly, Never Give Up on Your Fitness Goals
Some goals are easy to achieve. Others are more difficult. Some might feel like they are impossible. No matter what you do, it is important that you never give up on your fitness goals. The moment you decide to give up is the moment that your goals will never be achieved.
You can give yourself more opportunities to experience success by following this goal-setting process. Think about your current needs, what it will take to meet them, and then plan out a path toward success.