It's well established that setting goals dramatically increases your chances of reaching the outcome you really want when it comes to health and fitness. Exercising without a goal is often unfulfilling; improvements are slow and success is much harder to measure. Whether it's to lose 10kg or run a 10km fun run, when done well, goals give a purpose to your hard work and push you to achieve your full potential.
Many will have heard how goals should be 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time limited). Having goals that are well defined, simple and measurable over time is key but what keeps you going and sets you up for success in meeting these goals? Whether this is the first time you are setting health and fitness goals or the tenth time, the following are essential ingredients:
- Set goals that you are passionate about: These are your health and fitness goals. They are personal and specific to you and what you want to achieve. In busy day to day life, setting and working towards your goals is an investment in yourself. Success will require plenty of hard work and commitment and therefore it is essential to be focussed and passionate about them. Whether it's a weight loss or fitness focus, be clear on your reasons and motivations for setting your goals as this is what will keep you on track in times when it can all seem too hard. Be proud of your goals, the work you do to meet them and own them!
- Break your goals down: Goals should be aspirational and challenging yet realistic. There is nothing more disheartening than falling short of your goal because it was too much to ask of yourself in the timeframe. Breaking down a larger goal into short, medium or long term timeframes and having specific dates for each is much more achievable and means you'll be more motivated, confident and increase your success rate. At Vision, our Trainers will guide you on setting appropriate goals that will challenge you, ensure you avoid injury and make sustainable progress.
- Prioritise them: Once you have set your goals, establish how you are going to meet them. Being clear on how much and what type of exercise you need to do and knowing your nutrition is essential. However, it is equally about prioritising your goals and committing to the steps required when life wants to distract or overwhelm you with other things. Just like anything that is worth it, there WILL be tough times - you've had a busy week at work and would rather sleep in than train or you're craving a few extra glasses of wine on a Friday night. Accept that as fact. We've all been there. This is about learning to prioritise the goals you set yourself in those moments and taking meaningful action to get back on track as soon as possible if you stumble a little on the way.
Work towards your goals in a small way every day. Track your food, go to that group class or make sure you get off the bus early to walk to the shops for some incidental exercise.
- Share your goals: Telling the people closest to you what your goals are can help keep you accountable and provide ongoing encouragement. Sharing your goals with people who have similar health and fitness values (like those people in your next group class or those that train at the same time as you) will also assist in maintaining these healthy habits long-term.
- Update and review your goals regularly: When your trainer reminds you that you're due for your nine week goal session, make time for it! Firstly, they are an essential time to reflect on and celebrate the work you have put in. Updating and reviewing your short, mid and long term goals regularly are also an investment in your continued progress and success.
At Vision, goal setting is an integral starting point for your health and fitness journey and our trainers will guide you through the process of setting meaningful goals and assist you in every step required to meet them.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.