You would not start or expand a business without a plan – a clear-cut idea of where you want to take your company and how you propose to get there. Instead, you would assess your cash flow and expenses, choose a location for your office, decide on your hours of operation, and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.
Your health and fitness program deserves the same level of attention, whether you are just beginning to map out your fitness plan or looking to expand and improve your current fitness routine.
Setting Goals for Your Health and Fitness Exercise
You ought to know why you want to get fit before you embark on a new health and fitness program. Maybe your pants split as you got up to greet your blind date, and you thought, “I really ought to do something about this.” Maybe you cannot keep up with your grand children. Maybe heart disease runs in your family, and you want to avoid carrying on that tradition.
Whatever the reason, make sure you are doing this for yourself. You are not doing it simply to please your mother-in-law or your doctor. Then, after you have evaluated your current fitness level start setting specific goals. Research shows that goal-setting works.
Here we want to look at the different types of goals you should set.
Tip 1 – Long-term goals
Give yourself a time frame for the next six months. Some people get really creative with their long-term goals in their health and fitness plan.
You have to ensure that your long-term goals are realistic. If you have decided to run your first full marathon, you do not need to run the full marathon on the first training session. On the other hand, do not be afraid to dream. Visualize that you will are running in the local marathon competition. Choose a goal that really sparks you on. This is something that may be out of reach at the moment but is not out of the realm of possibility. People are often surprised by what they can accomplish.
My uncle Dave was 60 years old when he started training for a half marathon race. He trained 6 days a week together with his buddy. After six months of training, Uncle Dave successfully completed the half marathon. He was the oldest one on the competition, but he was not the slowest. His success inspired him to train to run the full marathon.
You need to judge for yourself what is realistic. Some people rise to the occasion when they set goals that seem virtually impossible. Other people get discouraged by setting extremely high expectations. If you are a beginner, try to set moderately challenging goals. If you reach your goals earlier than you expect that is the time to choose more ambitious ones. Here are some concrete examples of long-term goals that may spark your imagination:
Complete a 20-kilometer run in 3 hours six months away. Drop 5 percent body fat in 20 weeks.
Tip 2 – Short-term goals
Six months is a long time to wait for feelings of success. In order to stay motivated, you need to feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. Set short-term goals for one week to one month. Here are some examples:
Use the stair-climber four times this week for 30 minutes each time.
Improve your one-kilometer walk by 30 seconds in one week.
Bicycle 50 kilometers a week for the next three weeks.
Tip 3 – Immediate goals
Immediate goals refer to goals for each week, day, or workout. This way, when you walk into the health fitness club, you don not waste any time figuring out which exercises to do. Here are examples of immediate goals:
Go to the health fitness club 3 times a week
Run 5 kilometers 2 times a week.
Bicycle 15 kilometers twice a week.