Most of us would like to be a few pounds lighter or fit into our clothes a little better. Many of us would prefer not to get winded walking up a flight of stairs. However, you might have loftier goals when it comes to getting fit.
Perhaps you want to bring out the strong, athletic potential in your body, long forgotten thanks to a largely sedentary lifestyle. Maybe you want to compete in a triathlon or hike to the top of Mount Everest. Or perhaps your goals are more like most people’s and something in between sprinting a flight of stairs and climbing the world’s tallest peak.
Whatever you have in mind, the best way to get in shape is to set realistic fitness goals. Here are just a few things you need to consider in the process.
No matter what your ultimate objective for personal fitness is, it is important to set your self up for success by working towards attainable goals. If your efforts fall under the category of long-term goals, then you may need to set smaller goals along the way to keep you on track.
Successes, even small ones, are important to keep your motivation high as you work toward overarching goals. If it takes too long to reach your goals, you could end up losing steam and falling off the rails. It’s a self-defeating cycle.
By creating a schedule of more attainable goals, you’ll see progress and success faster, giving you the boost of confidence and feelings of self-worth that will help you to stay on track. With smaller, more realistic fitness goals to work toward and achieve, you’ll have a much easier time making it all the way to your long-term health and fitness targets.
Just make sure to create quantifiable goals. If your goals are too vague, they can leave you struggling to figure out if you’ve accomplished them or not.
This may sound a little strange, but you absolutely need to set goals that are relevant to your life. If, for example, you want to lose weight, it’s important to think about why and how when setting your fitness goals.
Are you hoping to look better, feel better? What will losing the weight do for you? Will it make you feel more beautiful and confident? Will it help you to lower your cholesterol or stave off diabetes? Will you be able to participate in activities you once loved?
Visualization can be extremely motivational, but you have to figure out what makes your goals relevant to you, and wanting to lose weight and get fit simply because you’ve exceeded your BMI, for example, is not a very strong motivation. It’s not enough to create realistic fitness goals – they also have to bear some relevance to your quality of life and your physical, mental, and emotional journey.
Making a Plan
Setting realistic fitness goals is only the first step toward accomplishing them. Next you need to create a plan that will get you from point A to point B.
If you’re new to the process, there is no shortage of resources to help you. For example, you could hire a personal trainer and a nutritionist to help you develop healthy eating and exercise plans conducive to reaching fitness goals.
You can also take advantage of gym memberships, at-home fitness equipment, and apps and online tutorials designed to give you the knowledge, advice, and tools to create a diet and fitness plan that works for you. Setting a schedule, complete with milestones, and having a daily plan in place is a roadmap to success.
When you set realistic fitness goals and you stick to the plan you set, you’re going to see progress over time. The amount of progress you see and how quickly will depend on a number of factors, including the steps you take, how hard you push yourself, and the limitations of your body, for example.
This is why it’s so important to set “realistic” goals when it comes to your fitness journey. If you don’t do enough, you won’t see the results you want and you may lose interest. If your goals are too difficult, you could end up hurting yourself and suffering demoralizing setbacks.
Experienced professionals can help you to figure out what works for you, but ultimately, you’re the one that has to follow through. This begins by setting realistic and attainable goals.