How To Set More Effective Fitness Goals

Open binder with post-it notes and blank pageAnother year is here and many of us are excited about the plans we’ve laid out for ourselves.  Let’s see…I will start working out, change my eating habits, lose weight, and get back into my favorite jeans.  Sound familiar?  Making new year’s resolutions is a tradition for many people, but how many stay motivated and committed to these goals?  Why do most people start out with great intentions, but allow their resolutions to fizzle in such a short time?

Setting New Year’s resolutions inspires us to change or improve  in various areas of our lives.  It gives us a renewed feeling that we have another great opportunity to try again and get it all right.  The problem in most cases is that the resolutions are too general.  We get started then become overwhelmed because we don’t know how to achieve our goals.  Feeling discouraged, we gradually slip back into our old habits.  I say we hit the reset button by setting manageable goals.  These are broken down into parts, then by months, weeks, and days.  Here’s a revised fitness goal example:

TYPICAL RESOLUTION:  “I’m going to lose 150 pounds this year.”  The thought of trying to lose 150 pounds can be quite overwhelming.  If there is no plan on how to achieve this amount of weight loss, you’ll have no direction and will lose your motivation.

MANAGEABLE GOAL:  “I will do a one-hour walk with the local walking club on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next 6 weeks.”  This goal is specific.  It mentions how much time on which days I will spend walking over the next 6 weeks.  It can now be scheduled.  Each day I walk, I’ll be working toward my ultimate goal to lose 150 pounds.

When you break your goals down into small, realistic and specific parts, you’ll view them as daily or weekly things to do rather than focusing on a problem you’ve struggled with year after year with little or no success.

You have the power to change and will surely see results with an effective plan.  It takes planning, discipline and ongoing effort to achieve your fitness goals.  So to move your progress forward, approach your goals differently this time around.  Don’t pressure yourself to take them on in one big gulp, take one sip at a time and you’ll find that they are much easier to accomplish.  So make this year different than the last.  Start planning and manage your goals for year-round success.