Friday, July 12, 2013

5 Strategies To Help You Set Fitness Goals That Set You Up For Success

There are plenty of articles on goal setting and I may not say anything you haven't heard before. This is what I've learned about how to set fitness goals and have success.

Setting any goal can be an emotional thing and that's especially true for fitness goals. I think that early on, before you've gotten a taste of success in this area, setting the right goals is critical.

Here are 5 things to consider when creating your fitness goals:

1. You really want it. Pick something you really want and know why you want it. The goal should get you excited. It should feel like "Yes!" when you think about achieving it. If you're luke warm about your goal then forget it. You won't put the effort in when any kind of challenge comes up.

2. A reasonable deadline. This is a standard one for goal setting. When it comes to fitness goals I think the time frame should be fairly short and the goal should be set accordingly. If you have a big goal, try breaking it down into smaller more manageable pieces. This will make it easier to stick to your plan and you'll get to have victories along the way to your larger goal that will help keep you going.

3. A clear plan. Know how you're going to get there. Set rules, parameters and benchmarks for tangible touch stones to keep you on track. If your goal is to lose weight then you might set a goal to log your food every day or exercise a certain number of days each week. If it's to be able to do some physical feat then plan to practice or train for it a certain amount of time every day. Choose specific measurable things that tell you with certainty whether you're on track each day.

4. A plan you can live with. Don't create a plan that involves a lot of extreme requirements. Of course it's OK to push yourself. Goals are meant to take you to the next level. But the relatively short time period for your goal doesn't mean it's OK to do things like drop your calories super low or try to workout 4 hours a day. While the time frame for your goal may be short, fitness is a life long endeavor. Fitness goals should be in alignment with the bigger goal of being fit and healthy and living a sustainable life style that supports that.

5. An external (non-food) reward. Anytime you reach a fitness goal it truly is a reward in itself. However, planning an external reward for yourself can help. Like the goal you set it should be something you'd be psyched to get, something to look forward to. It will give you a little extra incentive and it's a great way to celebrate your achievement. If it's a physical item then it has the added benefit of reminding you of your success every time you see it, wear it or use it.

I hope this helps you have success with your fitness goals. Watch for the next post to find out what to do after your goal has been reached.

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