It’s no secret that goal setting is one of my favorite parts of the health and fitness scene. I love hearing success stories from friends, seeing massive transformations, and celebrating with other runners as they accomplish new goals. Challenging myself to accomplish new goals is what keeps me motivated throughout the year – especially when those goals feel downright impossible at the start. Dreaming big is exciting.
Setting new fitness goals is motivating.
Seeing progress and feeling better motivates us to continue on this journey and keep striving for bigger and better things. But what happens when time has passed, life returns to normal and we can’t remember if the struggle is worth it? More often than not, we give up.
These moments are the trying ones. The moments of grit and struggle are where we determine just how much we want it, find out what we’re made of, and learn how to improve. When working towards any fitness goal, there will inevitably come a point when you feel like it’s no longer worth it. Continuing on seems pointless, especially when the goal is still so far off.
When setting your fitness goals (or any goals for that matter), it’s so important to prepare for the inevitably challenging times that will occur. Taking the time to plan for the entirety of the process will surely pay off down the road when you are in need of a little extra support. Incorporating these 3 goal setting strategies will help prepare you for success throughout the process, even when time passes and motivation fades.
3 Genius Strategies to Achieve Your Fitness Goals
1. Set regular reminders to monitor your progress
Setting one massive goal for yourself is really motivating! It’s easy to bank on the excitement to get you through at the beginning. But what happens once it’s been a few weeks (or months) and your fitness goal has taken a seat on the back burner? It suddenly becomes a lot easier to forget about your goals.
Once you’ve set your fitness goal, take a step back and decide when you want to accomplish it. Set a definitive date for the point when you will accomplish your goal. Once the date is set, back track and create various checkpoints throughout this time period to check in and evaluate your progress.
Set your check points far enough apart that you are able to make some progress in between them, but close enough together that you won’t forget about them. For example, if you’re setting a fitness goal to lose a certain amount of weight within a year, set check points for yourself every month or 2 weeks throughout that year. Once you’ve determined the frequency of your check points, write them down and create reminders for yourself.
It’s easy to keep track of things when excitement is high and you’re feeling motivated. Planning for those times of low motivation or interest will help set you up for success in the long run.
2. Create a visual reminder of your goal and why you want to achieve it
Once again, the beginning stages of goal setting are relatively easy. These times are filled with excitement and motivation to work towards your goal. For a while you probably won’t need to remind yourself about your goal because you are so focused on achieving it. But no matter how excited you are in the beginning, life will inevitably get in the way at some point.
When you set your fitness goal, write it down. Draw it out, decorate it, and pin it up somewhere where you will see it every single day. Once it’s written down, make a point of adding a bit about why you want to accomplish this goal and how your life will be better for it.
6 months down the road when your motivation is significantly lower you will thank yourself for creating that reminder. Having that regular reminder of your reasons for working towards this goal and what you are going to gain from it will help you stay motivated for the long haul.
3. Break the goal down into smaller, micro goals
Setting big fitness goals is exciting, but also a little intimidating. Whether you want to lose a certain amount of weight, run a marathon, get back in shape or eat healthier, those goals are going to feel like a stretch in the beginning. No one is able to lose 50 pounds in a day or run a marathon without training, so understanding that accomplishing your fitness goals will take time is key to your success.
Once you’ve set your main goal, written it down and created a time frame for accomplishing it, it’s time to break it down. Look back on your check points and see if you can break your goal into smaller, micro goals to accomplish by each check in.
For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds in one year, break it down into 5 pounds a month at each check in point. Knowing that you need to lose 5 pounds in one month feels a lot more manageable than 50 pounds in a year. If you want to run a marathon, plan to run a long run of 3 miles the first week, 4 the second, and continue increasing throughout training.
Setting huge fitness goals is awesome. It’s never too late or too early to dream big and set your sights on something that feels impossible. Any task can be broken down into smaller tasks, no matter how big it is to begin with. Taking the time to incorporate these three fitness goal setting strategies into your original goal setting will pay of drastically in the end.