Before starting with your goal setting for fitness, its really important that we understand WHY we are doing it. As a PT, I know the importance of goals. However, its equally important that my clients do too, especially if I want to support them in achieving them.
*Goals make change seem possible
*Goals can motivate you to work towards something
*Can achieve success/wins throughout
*Helps us to monitor progress and make changes where we need to, keeping us on track.
There are so many other reasons (which I’m not going to bore you with) as to why goal setting is important. These four alone should be enough to get us to dedicate a little bit of time to thinking about what we really want from our training.
Break your goals down into small goals – It’s easy to set a large goal, but sticking with it? That’s a whole other story. For me, and many other people, the problem with setting large goals isn’t in setting them–they’re exciting and inspiring after all. The problem is in the follow through. If you’re ultimate goal is for example “I want to lose 2 stone in body fat”. I’m not saying that is unachievable BUT, setting smaller short term goals such as “I want to lose 2lb this week” is much more achievable. It is more likely to result in success = motivation to continue.
Make your goals SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE – When you have a specific goal to reach eg to be able to run a 5k in 30 minutes, you can make a better plan for actually getting there as you have a clearly defined way of measuring success.
Make your goals REALISTIC & ACHIEVABLE – There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but huge goals that are unrealistic only set people up for failure. Think back to tip number 1 – breaking them down into smaller goals will help you keep them more realistic and achievable.
Goals must be meaningful – “Goals are most meaningful when they’re what you truly want for yourself, not what others want for you.” – Gonzalez. So often I will get clients come to me and say “I want to be able to run a marathon”. When we drill down the motivation, it often turns out that there isn’t any and that they only want to do it because other people do. Therefore they feel extrinsic pressure to follow suit with their own goals. If your goal is not meaningful to you, you are less likely to be motivated to work towards achieving it.
Goals must have time constraints – goals should have a beginning and an end. This step is especially important because it supports all the others. A goal with no start and end is not specific or measurable, and there’s a good chance it won’t be attainable.
Let us know what your goals are for the next 8 weeks!