Top 3 Reasons for Setting Fitness Goals
3 reasons why you must set fitness goals
Imagine two scenarios. In the first, Brett scores a great deal on a gym membership. He goes to the gym twice a week and works out for about an hour. He likes the gym but gives it no further thought. After a couple of months, he gets busy and stops going. In the second scenario, Ann goes to the club with the goals of losing two pounds every two weeks and reducing her stress. Her goals give her purpose, keep her on track and measure her progress. Brett, meanwhile, has missed valuable opportunities to assess his strengths and weaknesses and to keep him motivated.
Setting fitness goals gives you purpose. They keep you on track, motivate you and allow you to measure your progress.
Purpose and Motivation
Ideally, you should have short-term fitness goals (weekly and monthly). Any long-term goals should pinpoint where you eventually want to be, but they should not be unrealistic and overwhelming. The short-term goals can be enough in themselves or can serve as stepping stones to keep you motivated on the way to achieving long-term goals. With motivation also comes accountability. If you have goals, you’re more likely to make the time to exercise, and the fact you’re going to the club and keeping yourself accountable is motivation in itself.
Keep on Track
Popular fitness goals include weight loss, improved health, stress reduction, increased strength, general fitness and flexibility. Specific, achievable goals help keep you on track. For instance, if you go to the club to improve your health but leave it at that, how can you be sure you’re on track? Set concrete criteria such as: “In one month, I want to jog at 4 mph for three minutes without getting out of breath” or “I want to go to the club after work three days a week so I am more relaxed and less stressed when I get home—leading to fewer arguments with my family.”
It’s easy for people to slip. It’s easy for people to lose sight of what they want. However, smart fitness goals will help keep you on track and bolster your health and confidence.
You can measure progress any way that works for you: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and so on. Whatever metrics you use, do be sure to set short-term goals. Measuring and seeing progress immediately gives you a great feeling of reward and reinforcement. Having key numbers increase or decrease is important for your mindset, especially if you think you still look the same. A pattern may emerge, and you’ll notice that certain workouts or certain days benefit you more. This also lets you adjust your workout and to assess your strengths and weaknesses to find better ways to meet your goals. When you set your goals, make sure to include a method for measuring your progress.
Write down your goals. If you keep them only in your mind, you’re more likely to forget them or to let them go. Committing them to paper (or to a computer screen) makes them real and tangible. You’ll be able to clarify and fine-tune what you need, and make adjustments. Ensure you have realistic goals at least for the short term (long-term goals may be too overwhelming and defeat the purpose), and a metric for measuring progress.
Contact East Fitness Director Kris Geier for more information:
Phone: (914) 752-6910