Setting Goals is the Key to Fitness Success
If you are SERIOUS about getting the body that you’ve always dreamed about, there’s one simple but critical step you must complete even before you press play for the first time. The truth is that most people are destined to fail even before they started their fitness program because they skip the critical first step.
The critical first step before starting any fitness program is GOAL SETTING.
Goal setting? Yes, I’m serious. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Before you roll your eyes, allow me to finish my point.
Set Goals Which Are Precise and Measurable
Most people don’t set goals in the first place. When they do, the goals are too vague, or have too many negative factors wrapped in them that achieving such goals is almost impossible. How many times have you heard a friend or yourself say, “I want to get in better shape?” This is an example of a vague goal that really has no meaning, and thus, will never be achieved. What does better shape mean? If you can only do five pushups and you manage to do seven after a week of working out, then you’re certainly in “better shape.” But did you really achieve your goal? Your goals must be concrete if they are to have any meaning or purpose.
Try this goal instead: I want to be able to run a mile in less than eight minutes. That’s a goal that you can measure. It is not some vague pronouncement. You either reach your goal, or you don’t. The stopwatch doesn’t lie. The best thing is that when you do reach this goal, you not only feel a genuine sense of accomplishment, but you can push it even further. How about running three miles in twenty-four minutes, or one mile in seven minutes? Each time you reach a concrete goal, your success will inspire additional goals which will in turn inspire greater success.
Set Goals Which Inspire You Instead of Bringing You Down
One of the reasons some goals will never be achieved is because you simply lose interest in them. You stop caring about them because they are wrapped in negative connotations. Instead of inspiring you, they only serve to remind you of how crappy your situation is, which in turn robs you of motivation.
For example, this common but insidious goal is responsible for countless failures: “I want to lose twenty pounds” [or insert whatever number you feel like]. Is this goal inspiring at all? Do you see how after a week of effort, most people drop it and move on with their lives? There’s no way that this goal will motivate you out of bed to do your workout for more than a couple of days because it has no real purpose.
Instead, try setting a goal that is motivating, inspiring, and has meaning in your life. This type of goal will drive you towards the finish line even when your willpower is low. Because you have invested your goals with a positive purpose, you are more likely to succeed, especially when you don’t have any motivation on tap.
*The Secret to Staying Motivated All the Time Is to Set Inspiring Goals Which Have Meaning and Purpose in Your Life*
Fact is, some goals put you in a negative mental state; thus, making it harder to achieve them. All goals are invested with some kind of emotion, so it is better to wrap them in positivity than negativity. Let’s go back to the example of “I want to lose twenty pounds.” How does this goal make you feel? Probably overwhelmed, bummed out, and overweight. Is this the kind of mental state you want to be in before starting on a journey that could change your life?
Remember that the more you dwell on the things that you DON’T want, the more of them you will create. Negative goals will also lead to negative feelings and self-defeating thoughts. You might find yourself finding excuses and saying things such as:
- I can’t lose weight no matter what I do.
- Why can’t I lose weight?
- I have a slow metabolism.
- I don’t want to be fat.
- No fitness program will ever work on me.
- I hate my physique.
- It’s not my fault I’m fat because I have bad genes.
- I don’t like to workout.
- I have no time.
- I can’t.
- I’ll try.
Try to focus on a positive aspect of your life and create a goal that results in a gain if you achieve the goal. Instead of saying, “I want to lose twenty pounds,” try saying, “I want to be able to run a mile because it will help me keep up with my kids when they play.” If you have children, they are most likely a huge positive aspect of your life (like mine are to me), and what parent doesn’t want to have more fun with their children? See how much you will have GAINED if you expressed your goals in a different way? If you don’t have children, this might motivate you: “I want a fantastic body because it would make me feel hot so I can attract the girlfriend/boyfriend of my dreams.” I don’t care if it sounds shallow, but being hot is a positive thing!
Put Your Goals Onto Paper
When you have created your inspiring and motivating goal, write it down on note cards. Put the note cards in places where you will see them often. Schedule your cell phone or computer to pop up the goal at regular intervals. Constantly remind yourself why you are starting this journey and what you will have gained from it. Goals that aren’t written down are nothing more than daydreams. Daydreams won’t make you stronger or fitter or healthier, but goals will.
Setting Short Term and Long Term Goals will help you Achieve Ultimate success.
Not only do you have to think big and long term when it comes to setting goals, but you have to think short term as well. You should have several layers of goals which include.
- Your ultimate long-term goal (What is that you want to achieve in order to make your life more happy and fulfilling?).
- Your 12-month goal (What do you think you can do in a year that is part of your long-term goal?).
- Your 3-month goal (What can you reasonably do in three months that will set you on your path to your long term goal?).
- Weekly goal (Weekly body composition and weigh-in goals, or exercising 5-7 times each week).
- Daily goals (Wake up each morning to workout so that you are setting up good habits).
- The goal of beating a personal best (To become stronger, we have to try to get better).
Here’s what you can do RIGHT NOW to set you up for success. Don’t walk away from reading this article without doing something. The following steps won’t take up more than a few additional minutes of your time.
- Decide and create your long term and short term goals.
- Write them out. Do not worry about being perfect. You can always go back to edit. The point is to take action NOW.
- Read them to yourself and commit your mind to doing them.
- Create a reminder system for your goals.
More Tips on Goal Setting
- Your goals must be realistic. If you have over a hundred pounds to go before reaching your idea body weight, this is not a realistic 90-day goal. It should instead be a 12-month goal. The average man can realistically lose 1-2 pounds per week and still be healthy.
- To find more inspiration or motivation when you are creating your goals, ask yourself the following question:
- Whose physique do you admire the most? Why? What is it about this person that inspires you?
- Why do you want to start on your fitness journey?
- Do you want to impress anyone? Would impressing this person make you happy?
- Do you want to prove something to yourself, such as finishing an event or race that has been on your to-do list?
- Do you want more energy so that you can enjoy certain things about life such as sports or physical activities with your family?
- Do you want to win a contest or award?
- Do you want to get off certain medications?
- Do you want more self confidence and self-esteem?
- Do you want to look great in certain types of clothes?
- Do you want to look your best for an upcoming event?
- Do you want to become more attractive to the opposite sex?
- Create a “vision board” of your goals. Stick a collage of photos or quotes which will inspire you to achieve your goals on a board. This is NOT a kooky new age thing. In order for you to achieve your goals, you must find a way to visualize them. I don’t know any truly successful person, whether in health or other endeavors, who achieved their success without finding some way to visualize their goals. Building a hardbody is like building a house. You must have a plan that visualizes what the house will look like when it’s completed. Otherwise, it will never get done.
- Remember to think about what you want your physique to look like, not what you don’t want it to look like. For instance, think about yourself with toned abs. Don’t think about trying to lose your muffin top. You can visualize a positive attribute, but you can’t do the same thing for a negative! Going back to the house analogy—you can’t build a house based on what you don’t want it to look like.
Feel free to share your goals with me by sending me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Facebook. I know that if you apply these tips right away, you will be able to achieve your fitness goals. You are already one step closer to success.