A huge part of fitness and training is setting and achieving goals. In my experience, a lot of people who start a training program fall into the trap of setting what I call “vague goals.” How MUCH weight do you want to lose? And by WHEN? You want to get stronger at WHAT? And WHY? You want to get toned? DEFINE “toned.” People have all these great goals in mind, but more often than not, they are unspecific and indefinite.
Ask any fitness veteran, and you’ll find out that setting goals is not only helpful, but essential. But how do you set these kind of goals:
Be specific. If you want to lose weight, the first step is to determine how much weight you want to lose.
Be realistic. Ask yourself, how much weight loss is realistic over a given amount of time?
Be definite. Give yourself a definite timeline.
Be accountable. Check and measure yourself; assess outcomes. (Rinse & repeat.)
Now let’s start over. Instead of saying “my goal is to lose weight,” try something like “my goal is to lose 2 lbs in the next 2 weeks.” Figure out how much you weigh now and then weigh yourself two weeks later. Did you lose your 2 lbs? Did you reach your goal? Then ask yourself, why or why not?
Setting realistic and clearly defined goals, one at a time, is a great way to mark your progress, to keep yourself accountable, and to keep you motivated while simultaneously working towards your long-term fitness and training goals.
Every time you hit a goal, set a new specific goal, then go out and achieve that one. Nothing feels better than achieving a goal that you’ve set for yourself and if you can continuously hit one goal at a time, you’ll be feeling great about yourself, your training, and you’ll want to stick to it!
By: Jason Laporte, Exercise Physiologist, CSCS