Do you ever feel like you’re running in circles when creating a fitness plan? It can be tempting to throw out the idea of a routine and just head straight for the gym, but setting specific fitness goals can help you successfully achieve your long-term fitness ambitions!
Read seven tips for setting fitness goals that will inspire you to succeed and motivate you on your way to better health.
1. Discover Your “Why”
Finding your “why” is an important motivator when setting fitness goals. Without a solid reason for taking control of your health, it’s more likely that you’ll stop short of accomplishing your objectives.
Think deeply about why you want to make changes in your life. Be sure to write your reasons down somewhere and be as specific as possible! Avoid vague phrases like:
I want to lose weight.
Instead, get to the heart of the matter. Why do you want to become fit? Perhaps you work long hours at a desk and want to engage your body more. Maybe you lack the energy to make it through an entire day—or you just want to be able to play ball with your kids after school without feeling worn out. After finding specific inspiration for your fitness journey, your “why” could sound something like:
I want to feel better physically and mentally so I can be more active with my family and friends and enjoy more activities!
Once you nail down your “why” it’ll serve as a great motivator for you and help push you through your workouts and nutrition plan.
2. Be Realistic With Your Goals
It can be discouraging to have specific goals in mind only to discover that they’re unrealistic for where you’re at in your health journey. Setting realistic, obtainable goals will help you create a fitness plan that works for you.
As you’re setting fitness goals, be sure to take an inventory of yourself and your abilities. You probably won’t be running a marathon one week into working out, but you could start with appropriate exercises and group fitness classes to help you increase your strength, flexibility, and stamina.
Evaluating where you’re at physically and mentally is important when creating health goals you’d like to accomplish. Don’t worry if your workouts don’t seem like much at first. Stay committed to working your way up to more challenging sessions. Before you know it, you’ll be running that marathon!
3. Find Exercises You Enjoy
When it comes to exercising, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every person has individual needs and hurdles they must overcome, so trying to squeeze into a workout routine that makes you miserable is a guaranteed way you’ll stop short of reaching your fitness goals.
Trying out different forms of exercise is a great way to learn what works for your body and the current stage of your health journey. For some people, walking a mile every day is a great workout routine—while others find they prefer more high-intensity workouts.
Finding workouts you enjoy that will help you reach your specific goals can be hugely rewarding and motivate you to return to the gym repeatedly.
4. Create a Routine
Prioritizing your workouts—or neglecting to—can make or break your ability to achieve your fitness goals. Start by planning out your week and finding times that work best for you to get to the gym.
Perhaps you’re the most energized in the mornings and would prefer to join a class that kick-starts the day! Or maybe you need to blow off steam after a stressful day at work and would like to work out in the evening. However you need to manage it, be sure to prioritize a fitness routine that works for your schedule, helps you stick to your fitness plan, and motivates you to accomplish your goals.
5. Predict Potential Obstacles
Planning ahead for potential snags in your fitness plan helps you deal with change and may even help you avoid certain obstacles entirely. Common hurdles may include increased workloads, vacations and other changes in your schedule, and struggling to find time with your family. Some ways you can combat these obstacles are:
- Moving your workout routine to the morning instead of the evening
- Choosing 2-3 days each week to work out instead of trying to fit a workout routine in every day
- Finding simple exercises to take with you on the road while you’re out of town
- Finding workout routines for the whole family
Taking time to prepare for potential obstacles like these makes it so much easier to keep your fitness journey on the right track!
6. Find an Accountability Partner
Invite a friend or a personal trainer to come alongside you and help you in your fitness journey! It can be difficult to see the big picture, especially when you’re focused on the day-to-day—so working with someone who can see where you want to go, who wants to help you get there, and who may even have the same goals as you can make your fitness journey easier and more fun.
Make sure this is someone you can check in with regularly who will give you an honest evaluation of where you’re at and how you can get to where you’re going. Gaining their feedback on your workouts can help you stay on track to achieving your goals and seeing your plans all the way through.
7. Make Adjustments as Time Goes On
Changing your plan doesn’t mean you’re abandoning it. It just means that you’ve taken a step back and found out what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps you’re overdoing it with cardio and need to implement strength training, or maybe you’d like to incorporate more aquatic exercise into your routine.
Making these adjustments along the way allows you to reflect on the progress you’ve already made and change your plans accordingly to accomplish all of your goals.
Setting fitness goals doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult. With perseverance and endurance, it will be rewarding to see your plan through from start to finish.
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up-to-date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website.