Exercising is a vital part of keeping yourself healthy and helps lower the risk of obtaining certain diseases. Exercising can help us stay fit, but without having a set goal in mind, it can often lead to disinterest and fatigue. About 92% of the people who set their fitness goals abandon them halfway through trying to reach them. The reason they abandon them is because they are not setting attainable fitness goals for themselves.
Setting fitness goals is important, but what’s more important is that those goals are attainable. Having attainable fitness goals can let you easily follow up on them without setting yourself up for failure. Here are some tips to help you set attainable fitness goals.
1. Find What Motivates You
The first thing to do is to find out what motivates you. What are you trying to achieve by working out? Many people do not know what they want to achieve before starting a workout plan. This can be detrimental in your fitness journey as you will lack the necessary motivation you need to keep going to reach your goals.
Once you identify what motivates you, write it down. Keep your goals, vision, and motivation in one location to revert back too when you’re either losing focus or drive. Find what motivates you and keep a positive mindset.
Most of us start working out to lose weight, but many of us don’t know what to do to lose that weight. By getting to know the difference between things like lean muscle mass, weight, and body mass, we can start making a plan for ourselves that can help us achieve our fitness goals.
2. SMART Goals
SMART goals are crucial for setting attainable fitness goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Your fitness goals need to have meaning and be something you can dedicate yourself to.
SMART goals ensure that the fitness goals you set have a clear meaning and are achievable. Setting fitness goals that are vague, or simply unattainable can lead you to abandon those goals. By not being able to fulfill your poorly planned fitness goals, you’ll feel discouraged and likely to abandon your fitness journey altogether.
By making your fitness goals specific, you give your goals a clear purpose. You know exactly what you want to achieve and then put in the work for it. By setting vague goals, you only cloud your head, which can lead you to be misguided. Set a specific goal and try to go easy on yourself in the beginning. From there, you can work your way up to make it tougher and more challenging as you get closer to your goal.
For instance, instead of setting your goal as ‘I will lose 6 pounds in two weeks,’ set your goal to something a bit more attainable. For example, “I will cut out processed sugar and artificial sweeteners from my diet for two weeks” is more specific. Taking small steps like these can keep you focused and not get burned out as fast.
Measuring and keeping track of your progress as you continue to work out is crucial. Without keeping track of your progress, you will never be able to better yourself because you wouldn’t know where to start in the first place. Make sure to create measurable fitness goals. By looking at numbers and numeric data, you can not only track your progress but also strive to make changes to your workout plan as you keep going.
For example, if you go for a walk and burn 1,000 calories, you can bump up the walking intensity the next time you walk to try and burn 1,200 calories. Upping the intensity can help you get closer to reaching your goals.
To make your fitness goals attainable, measure them week by week. Without having prior knowledge about your progress, you won’t know what is possible for you. If your actions are measured and you know exactly where you stand, then you can make your goals attainable.
Relevance plays a huge role in connecting all your fitness goals. Your fitness goals must be related and connected. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to lose weight, then make sure you have a set of small goals that can contribute to weight loss.
This is crucial because sometimes people get carried away and overdo it. This can lead to burning yourself out when, in all honesty, you did not have to! So while setting your fitness goals, make sure all of them are relevant and work towards the same purpose.
Making your fitness goals timely means that they have a time-frame set for you to reach them. Everyone knows that by having a set time-bound goal for yourself, it will make you work harder to achieve it.
By making your fitness goals time-bound, you give yourself a specific time period to reach your goal. You have to make sure that you don’t give yourself a time-limit that is too short and unattainable, or else it will make you lose your motivation to reach your goal.
For instance, you can set up your goals like “This week, I will swim on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday for about an hour.” By setting a reasonable time frame on your goals, you can determine whether or not you can reach them.
Making an Action Plan
All of us need to set attainable fitness goals. You should write down your fitness goals on a timetable or schedule. By having a hardcopy action plan, you can check your daily goals out and have a better understanding of what progress you have made.
Try not to get carried away by leaving out work time, emergencies, and other social activities that you’re going to have to attend in your schedule. To make your exercise action plan followable and attainable, you need to take your health and everyday activities into account.
How to create your action plan
Let’s take a look at how to create an action plan:
- Start with something you like to do. Put that activity as your first goal. For instance, if you like to swim, make your first goal to try and swim two laps every weekday.
- Make sure to keep it easy. Start by setting small fitness goals that are fun and stress-free. Keep your action plan smooth and relaxed so that you don’t tire yourself out!
- You should create action-specified plans. By knowing exactly how much you want to exercise, how often you want to exercise, and how you’re going to exercise, you can make an action plan that is best suited for you.
Here are some examples of smart fitness goals that will help you make a good action plan:
“I will walk for an hour on my way to work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
“I will swim 5 laps instead of 3 laps this week on Sunday and Tuesday.”
“I will work out at the gym for 1 hour on Thursday and Friday and work half an hour extra on Sunday.”
Make It Happen
Everyone has different things going on in their lives. No one can plan out your days for you, but yourself. To make your action plan, the first thing you’ll need to do is be honest with yourself and set fitness goals that you know you can and will achieve. Setting unattainable fitness goals will only cause you to lose motivation, so make sure your action plan is easy to follow and able to keep you on track to reach your goals.