Defining Your Fitness Goals

2012-01-19 by . 33 comments

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As anyone knows, starting a fitness regimen can be hard when you have a multitude of questions floating around in your head  as you try to take on your New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, they aren’t simple to answer, and situations vary from person to person. Addressing weight loss and workout sessions and everything in between all at once will become overwhelming, hard to track, and the failure will only be demotivating.

Let’s start with some typical New Year’s resolutions. They tend to sound like this:

  • “I want to be fit.”
  • “I want to be healthy.”
  • “I want to lose weight.”

What is wrong with these statements? They are overly broad, generalized, vague statements that are unfocused, open to interpretation, and don’t say anything specific about what you really want or should do. Note that asking general questions like these also don’t make very good questions on the Fitness Stack Exchange and are likely to be closed. Without sitting down and really putting the mental effort into saying what you want, losing sight of your New Year’s resolution becomes very easy.

Focus on one goal and be extremely specific about it. Having a single, clear and defined goal will layout the foundation for you to discover how to reach that goal. That means quantifying what you want to achieve that is meaningful to you. Here are some examples:

  • “I want to lose 30 pounds in 3 months.”
  • “I want to run a 5K by June.”
  • “I want to deadlift 100 pounds.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. When you are specific about your goal, you can create a process to take specific, actionable steps to meet your end result. By keeping it simple, hitting an achievable milestone will be an empowering experience. There will be less variables to think of while tracking progress, and a smaller goal will also be easier to fit in your schedule. Once you’ve established what you want to achieve, then you can move on to figuring out how you should achieve it.

Obviously, deciding what exercise or routine is best for you depends on the goal. That subject is for another day, however. The steps you take to reach your goal will vary in themselves. Given that though, creating a habit out of those steps is ultimately what you want to do. Having a process and system in place is definitely better than grasping at straws and shooting in the dark.

As lofty as swimming the English Channel or running a marathon may seem, they are certainly not impossible feats. It takes lots of time (and sometimes decades) to reach such levels, but even elite athletes had to take the first step. Fitness requires takes time and patience. If you take one small step towards your goal, slowly work your way up and increase your metric (e.g. lift a slightly heavier weight, cut your running time by a seconds) the next workout. Strive to push yourself without overexerting to the point where it becomes detrimental.

Don’t consider missing your goal a failure. The final outcome is not supposed to be the end of your fitness experience. The habit you create and the intrinsic change in your behavior is really what you should be aiming for in the New Year rather than stating the outcome as a resolution. Keep going, and you will eventually reach your goal.

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  • Bernie says:

    I found a great goal organizer on the web that not only helps me plan and keep track of my fitness goals, it also has a journal built in. Whenever I’m going over my goals it’s easy to just click on my journal and away I go!

  • Mayank says:

    While starting a workout (or any endeavor for that matter), its very necessary to have a S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goals. They keep you motivated. Who knows maybe one day you will become an exercise addict! 🙂

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  • Keeon says:

    Successful people always have a daily routine with the end in mind. It’s always good to have someone that you are accountable to and that can ask questions to determine if you are on track with your specific goals.

  • […] you’re falling out of your current fitness plan, then perhaps re-evaluating your fitness goals will help you get back on your feet. Setting small goals (while keeping the overall big picture […]

  • […] How to Stay Motivated with your NEW Fitness ProgramThe 2 Essential Keys to Fitness Success – Tips and Strategies for Independent MusiciansDefining Your Fitness Goals […]

  • Somendra says:

    If we have to be fit, we should have strong determination. Strong determination automatically leads to achieve fitness goals. If we failed to achieve this we should try again and again as there is a good famous saying practice makes a man perfect. Nice post, thank you for sharing. Personal Trainer Valencia

  • Great blog! I agree with ^ as strong determination does lead to the goals you are looking for. Slacking off and saying ill do it tomorrow will only slow you down. Try staying motivated by telling friends about progress and etc.

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  • Andrew says:

    Thanks for letting me know about it. Processed foods are partly to blame for today’s obesity rates. Not only are they contributing empty calories to your diet, but they’re also increasing your chances of developing insulin resistance. To combat this, make a goal to go a full week without eating any processed foods. Cook all-natural meals and just watch how different you feel by week’s end.

  • Here a few fitness resolutions that I usually add up each year – ditching crazy diets, planning and preparing well, believing in ourself, having lots of positive environment are the simple tips that makes me to stay confident in my fitness regime.

  • Shiv Sharma says:

    I really appreciate the post you shared here. I like the way you inspire with your words. Great work done. I agree on your fitness goals. Setting goals will work out for people who desire to loose weight and look beautiful.

  • Dan says:

    The hardest part about fitness is finding the desire. The first step to working out is > – which basically states you need the drive, the will or carrot to even get started!

  • […] you’re falling out of your current fitness plan, then perhaps re-evaluating your fitness goals will help you get back on your feet. Setting small goals (while keeping the overall big picture […]

  • I’m very wonder about your work and your writing, this article shows an excellent information to the fitness peoples as well as trainers. great to look your blog, keep posting this kind of useful infos

  • kiran says:

    i enjoy reading posts on health and fitness and your blog is one of my favorite. thanks for this wonderful posts

  • It’s looking very great and easy way to achieve the target….i love your way of thinking…..and will definitely follow it…..

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  • Stephen says:

    Great article with lots of valuble info. Thanks

  • Paul says:

    Great article, i will send this to my girlfriend, however maybe not easily to get goal. I will advice her do it and get best fitness tracker to monitoring her health and her goal. Thanks.

  • Osler T says:

    Like this post. Fitness goals are attainable. It’s just a matter of discipline and a bunch of patience.

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  • Jarrod Chow says:

    I have just started my weight loss journey and so I find these post so helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  • I agree with you Matt, defining fitness goals is very important for you to succeed. I discovered that when I had definite fitness, goals I would easily achieve anything I aspired to achieve. It is also very important you pay attention to one goal at a time,if you try out different things at the same time you may fail to get the desired results.

  • Alisa says:

    great to look your blog, keep posting this kind of useful infos. I m also doing workout daily and after reading your article i really need to change my style.

  • Defining fitness goals should be the same as defining business goals. If you do not know what you want, you will not success.

  • Suzan says:

    Yah we should have clear goal and for that hard work with workout, really impressive content. thank you for sharing.

  • Alex says:

    Hi.. It is also very important you pay attention to one goal at a time,if you try out different things at the same time you may fail to get the desired results.

  • Melisa says:

    When its come to the results you must focus on one goal that you want to acheive.

  • selena says:

    Amazing post, I just started a fitness blog in Nigeria hoping to increase fitness awareness in my country. Thanks for the tips

  • emma says:

    this is very good thing to set a goal for anything that you want to achieve and be patient for that. fitness is very important for all of us. Everyone want a good health and get fit.

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