How to set fitness goals and why they matter
When people first start working out, they usually have a vague idea of what they want to achieve. But very few actually track their fitness goals, which makes it harder to see the changes.
The best way to start is to create specific objectives. Some of the most common examples include:
- To lose weight
- To build muscle
- To increase strength
- To run a marathon
- To improve general fitness levels.
Once you know what you want your end result to be, come up with a plan of action. Start by assessing where you are now, and identify any areas you could work on. The NHS guideline for 19 to 64-year olds is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, so why not make this your aim?
It’s important to be realistic in your goal setting; if you expect too much too soon, you’re more likely to fail. It’s much better to have a consistent approach.
How to be SMART
A great way to ensure success with your fitness goals is to use the SMART method: this stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timeframe. Focus on what you want to achieve over a set amount of time so you can see how much work you need to put in every week. This will enable you to review your progress and when you start to see a difference, help motivate you to continue.
Track your progression
The key to maintaining a fitness plan is to ensure you are always making progress. The discipline and patience you learn from having goals and achieving them can also help with success in everyday life. Don’t forget goal setting is a process; once you achieve your first goal, set yourself a new one.