Setting Goals For Fitness Success

Photo Credit: Frank C. Müller Public Domain

When you decide to change your lifestyle to lose weight, build muscle or simply improve your overall fitness, it’s important to set realistic goals. The first step is making the decision to change. It is important that you make the decision to change your lifestyle and improve your level of fitness for your own reasons. You have to be ready to change for your own reasons, not to please other people. If you feel you are ready to get started on the road to a healthier weight and a fitter body, take the next step by setting realistic goals. If you set your goals too high, or expect to see almost instant results, you may become discouraged and give up. 
Select goals that you will be able to reach. Set both long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals can be anything from one day to a few months. Short-term goals should be small steps to help you achieve your long-term goals. Long-term goals are those you want to achieve within 6 months to one year. Realistic short-term goals may include losing 1 pound each week or increasing the time you exercise by 5 minutes every day until you can exercise for a full 30 minutes. Examples of long-term goals may include losing 30 pounds in 6 months or running 5 miles 2 days each week. No matter what your fitness goals, take it focus on achieving one goal at a time. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal. For example, when you reach your goal of losing 5 pounds in 2 weeks, buy yourself a new outfit or those great shoes you’ve been eyeing. 
Make sure you have a support system when you make the decision to change your lifestyle. It is important to have someone to help keep you motivated and inspire you to keep going. Involve your friends, family and co-workers to help you set and achieve your goals. Sometimes it helps to join a group of like-minded people who share similar goals. A fitness club, a weight-loss group or an online support group or forums can often help keep you motivated to reach your goals. A professional can often help you to set goals and take the steps necessary to achieve your goals. Dietitians, fitness trainers or your doctor can help you determine the best way to eat, exercise and lifestyle changes will help you reach your goal weight and fitness level. 
If you feel like giving up, remind yourself of the goals you have already achieved and congratulate yourself for the positive changes you’ve already made. Sometimes you may not reach a goal. That’s okay. Don’t punish yourself by feeling badly or quitting. You’ve made progress. Maybe you need to evaluate your goal. If you set unreachable goals you will be disappointed. Keep going and before you know it you will have made your target weight-loss and fitness goals.

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