How to set fitness goals
Everyone has goals. Not everyone knows how to achieve them. People who set goals are more successful than those who do not. But when it comes to setting fitness goals, people often become unmotivated when they fail to achieve a goal. Has this ever happened to you?
The key to setting goals successfully is what I call iMAC goal setting. This has nothing to do with Apple computers, but it’s something I came up with because it’s easy to remember and slightly humorous. (Thank you Steve Jobs.)
An iMAC fitness goal is a goal that is Inspirational, Measurable, Achievable and Challenging.
Inspirational – We set goals to motivate ourselves into action. A fitness goal should inspire us to workout. We have a place we want to be, but we’re not there yet. The goal gives us drive, motivation, and inspiration. Achieving a goal can be an inspirational launching pad for tackling more ambitious goals in the future. Set a goal that will inspire you.
Measurable – If your goal is to “get in shape” you really haven’t defined a goal yet. It’s a good place to start, but it’s impossible to measure. A more measurable goal could be to “run a 5k in 30 minutes,” or “bench press 200 lbs.” A measurable goal is more effective because you can track your progress towards your goal, which makes your goal seem more attainable and thus makes you work harder.
Achievable – My wife often sets really ambitious goals. It’s part of what I love about her — her enthusiasm and optimism. She often does exactly what she sets out to do. But other times she tries to do too much at once and feels discouraged by what she isn’t able to do in a given day. It’s a trap we can all fall into. For example, saying you want go to the gym 6 times a week is unrealistic for most people. Instead, aim for 4 visits to your gym. Setting achievable goals will allow you to build off your successes into new, more challenging, goals and will prevent you from being discouraged.
Challenging – Don’t confuse “achievable” with easy. Goals shouldn’t be easy. They should definitely be challenging. You have to find that sweet spot between achievable and challenging. Completing a challenging goal can give you momentum and motivation to move forward and achieve more goals. Not sure if your goal is too easy or too hard? Ask a personal trainer or a friend what they think. Telling a supportive friend about your goal is also a great way to hold yourself accountable.
Has it been awhile since you set a goal? Set one today using these guidelines and tell us about it.