Learning how to effectively set fitness goals can make the difference on whether you ever achieve them or not. Unless you clearly define what you want and make a plan to get there, your odds of success will be significantly reduced. Whether your goal is to be leaner, faster, bigger, more conditioned, or eat healthier, goal setting will be a key deciding factor on getting you there. To have the greatest chance of achieving your goals, your goals must be clear, meaning they must be specific, attainable, measurable and time bound.
Clarity. First, your goal must be clear and absent of any ambiguity for it to be effective. A goal is clear when it is specific, measurable and has a definite time set for completiion. For instance, when a goal is vague such as, "I want to be leaner before summer." or "I want to eat healthier.", it has little to no motivational value, and even less accountability which leads to the chance of never getting accomplished. A clear and specific goal will provide you with direction leading you to take action resulting in being more effective and successful.
Attainable. Along with setting a clear goal, it must be a realistic and attainable one. A smart approach to this step is to set a long term goal and short term goals that lead up to the long term goal. Most fitness goals can be attainable, it's just a matter of allowing yourself enough time to get there. Setting a goal that is unrealistic or unattainable can erode confidence. Sometimes it may be necessary to consult with an experienced trainer or coach on setting realistic goals and time frames. Once the time frame is set, breaking your goal up into increments will make it easier to stay on track and less overwhelming.
Here are a couple of examples:
Measurable. After setting up time frames, include precise ways of gauging progress. Gauging your progress will keep you accountable, motivated and allow you to celebrate your accomplishments thus far. Here are some ideas:
Goal setting is much more than just merely saying you want something to happen, it allows you to take control of your life's direction. Setting clear, specific and measurable goals will lead into effective plan to achieve them.
By Liza Hughes RN
Lifestyle Coach to Women
It was Liza’s personal journey of getting fit after having two children that led her to switch careers and become an internationally recognized Certified Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach to women across the country. She understands first-hand the struggles and challenges that women, especially moms, face in the quest of a healthier way of life. Her drive and discipline propelled her over “life’s” obstacles and she has accomplished more than she ever thought possible.