5 Tips for Setting Fitness Goals and Staying on Track With them
If you want to work your way to a fitter, healthier body, you need to take it one day at a time. Being to hard on yourself will only cause you to become demotivated. Here’s how to set up realistic fitness goals that you can stick to.
In the United States, one in every three adults and one in every six children are considered to be obese.
Fighting this epidemic means teaching people how to make smart, healthy decisions and to set fitness goals.
But for many people who haven’t exercised or dieted regularly, sticking to those goals can be a challenge. If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight and hit the gym, keep reading. We’re bringing you 5 tips to help you stick to and finally reach your goals.
1. Be Specific About Your Goals
If you’re new to dieting and following an exercise plan, it can be tempting to set broad goals.
Part of the problem might be that you aren’t entirely sure what you’re working towards. It can be tough to say exactly how many pounds you’ll need to lose to feel good, or how far you’ll need to be able to run to feel as though you are fit.
But setting broad goals, like lose a few pounds, be able to run, or simply trying to feel better in your skin makes it hard to track your progress, which also makes it hard to reward yourself. In short, failing to follow this tip will make it almost impossible to follow the rest of the tips on this list.
Instead, work on setting specific goals about what you want to achieve. You don’t need to worry about setting the exact standards at which you’ll feel better in your body. You can always set new goals once you’ve achieved your initial ones.
For instance, if your goal was to lose 10 pounds, and you lose those 10 only to realize that you don’t feel as great as you were hoping, you can always set a new goal to lose 10 more!
It’s also important to set realistic fitness goals. It’s better to shoot too low than too high. Setting a goal that will be impossible to reach will only leave you feeling defeated, and could cause you to abandon your path to fitness and health entirely.
2. Set a Way to Track Your Progress
In addition to setting specific workout goals, you should also set specific ways to track your progress.
There are a number of ways to do this. You could choose to track short-term fitness goals that allow you to see your progress day-to-day or week-to-week. These short-term goals could be things like the number of steps you take each day or how many calories you want to eat in a day.
Fitness trackers like Fitbit make it easy to track these types of goals.
You can then use these short-term goals to track where you are on your path to reaching your long-term physical activity goals.
If you are just beginning your path to physical fitness, then tracking calories and steps can be a great way to achieve small daily or weekly victories, which can be great for keeping you motivated.
But if you have been working out and eating well for a while, you might want to track your progress in larger ways. You could set several longer-term goals on your way to reaching your ultimate goals. Examples including reaching a set number of miles run each week or fitting into an old pair of jeans.
3. Make a Schedule and Stick to It
While tracking your progress can help you stay motivated, it may not be enough to keep you motivated. Setting a schedule is another great way to keep you committed to reaching your goals.
You could choose to set a weekly schedule, including different physical activities like walking, running, or cross-training each day. You could also set a daily schedule, including set times for your meals to help limit snacking in between and to help fuel you for your workouts.
Once you’ve set your schedule, do everything that you can to stick to it. Allowing yourself to break from your schedule even just once can cause you to lose some motivation, and can lead you to break from your schedule more often.
4. Find Ways to Exercise that You Enjoy
Studies have shown that two out of every five people who start a diet abandon it within a week. Exercise routines experience similar levels of abandonment.
One of the biggest reasons people give up on their diet and fitness goals is because they quickly begin to dread them.
They may miss the foods they can no longer eat when they get sick of the boring meals that their diet includes. They may begin to dread long hours on a treadmill or spent walking the same path day after day.
Mixing up your workouts can be a great way to stick to your gym goals and objectives.
Rather than hitting the treadmill and using the same weight lifting machines each day, go to the gym just two or three times a week. On the other days, you could ride a bike, go for a walk, workout at a private fitness studio, or even join an adult sports team.
If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to look forward to it. This can also make your less-exciting exercise days more bearable.
5. Reward Yourself in Healthy Ways
When you reach one of your short-term or long-term fitness goals, it’s a great idea to celebrate. Having a celebration to look forward to can keep you motivated, and can help keep you motivated as you start working towards your next goal.
But one mistake that many people make when working on diet and exercise goals is to reward themselves by indulging in their old, unhealthy habits, like eating junk food or taking a break from working out.
Each of those things is fine in moderation. But eat too much junk food or stay out of the gym too long, and you’ll begin to lose the progress that you worked so hard for.
Instead, it’s a good idea to find healthier ways to reward yourself. Buy yourself a new outfit to workout in. Go on a short vacation to somewhere that you can take in a beautiful hike or go to the beach.
Choosing healthy rewards can help you begin to train your body to recognize that healthy choices are far better than unhealthy ones because they leave you feeling even better.
Start Reaching Your Fitness Goals Today
If you’re sick of starting an exercise or diet plan only to abandon it, it’s time for a change.
Setting goals, tracking your progress, following a schedule, mixing up your workouts, and learning to reward yourself in healthy ways can be a great way to stick to your fitness goals so that you can finally achieve them.
If you’re looking for other ways to make healthy changes to look and feel better, check out these keys to a happy life!