Most people don’t take the time to work out what they want from their fitness efforts, and when you are directionless, there is an increased risk of you losing interest and eventually quitting.
Whatever you are trying to achieve in your fitness journey, you are much more likely to get there if you set yourself some measurable and achievable goals.
Perhaps you are looking to reduce the number when you step on the scales, run a marathon or lift a particularly heavy weight.
In order to get to your long-term goal, you need to set yourself short-term targets in a step by step approach that allows you to get where you are going.
Here is some usable advice that you can put into practice to both set and hit your goals.
Start straight away
When a lot of people are setting goals, they have some strange need to wait until the beginning of the month or the New Year. But there is absolutely nothing stopping you from setting yourself a goal right now.
All you need to do is grab yourself a notepad and work out exactly what it is that you want from your fitness journey.
So, don’t put it off longer. There is no time like the present!
Define what you want
Now comes the point when you need to work out what it is that you want.
Rather than making your goal a very general one like ‘I need to lose weight’ or ‘I want to get healthy’, you should aim to be more specific - but we will go into more detail about this next.
Perhaps there are several different things that you want to achieve, and when it comes to fitness, there is no reason why you can’t achieve more. However, you are better keeping your focus narrow at first and then expanding it further down the line.
M.A.T. stands for measurable, attainable and timed.
First of all, you need to be able to tell whether you are making any progress. When it comes to reducing your weight, there is a clear measure that you can use to see if you are getting anywhere in your efforts.
It is a good idea to keep a record of how you are getting on along the way. When you can clearly see that you are on the way to achieving your goal, there is a great sense of satisfaction in this.
Next up, your goal needs to actually be achievable. There is no point setting yourself an impossible target as you are only going to get demotivated when you can’t get there.
Finally, your goal should be timed. Otherwise, it will simply drag out indefinitely and you will probably find that you lose focus over time.
Look at the barriers in front of you
Everyone has hurdles in their life that they need to overcome.
When you know the obstacles in front of you, you will find that you are much better placed to deal with them effectively.
For example, you could find that you are tired at the end of a long day or you have too many other commitments to deal with.
Ask yourself what weaknesses you have and why you have not already achieved the goal that you are striving for. Is there any way that your time management can be more effective?
Maybe you could get up a little earlier and finish off your exercise session first thing in the morning. You need to address the issues that you have head-on or you are never going to achieve the success that you crave.
Be prepared to make sacrifices
Achieving a goal inevitably means making some sacrifices, so you need to be prepared to make these as they come up.
Perhaps you will have to miss those after-work drinks because you need to go on a run.
Maybe you will not be able to enjoy so many take-aways because there are too many calories to contend with.
Being prepared to make the sacrifices is one thing and actually making them is another. Ultimately, you are going to need to draw on your reserves of willpower to get where you want to go.
Don’t keep your goals to yourself
If you are the only one who knows about your goals, there is no one there to hold you to account.
You will probably find that there are two different types of people in your life; those who encourage you and those who seriously doubt that you are going to do what you say.
In fact, both of these types of people can prove to be great motivations. The first set can pick you up when you are feeling down, while you can keep the second set firmly in mind when you are thinking about how you can prove them wrong.
Maybe you will even get the direct support of a workout buddy who is directly involved in your fitness efforts and may even be trying to achieve the same things as you.
Take action every single day
Every day, you should be taking another step towards achieving your goals - no matter how small.
Taking daily steps will help you to build up the level of momentum that you are looking for.
Set yourself a plan on a week by week basis and stick to it as closely as possible.
Write down what you have achieved and the make adjustments to your plan as necessary.
Hopefully, these tips should set you down the right path to achieving your fitness goals. Along the way, celebrate your achievements and don’t let your negative moments get you down too much. Keep chipping away and eventually you will get where you want to be.