If you ask most people, ‘what are your fitness goals?’ the answers will usually be along the lines of, “I’d like to lose weight,” or “I’d like to feel better about my body”.
If you’re talking to someone who already enjoys fitness as part of their routine, you might hear about building muscle, ‘toning up’ or ‘getting into shape’. But perhaps the real goal should be ‘being healthier’. Looking better, and feeling better, are the outcomes of improving your health overall.
Long term goals
As obvious as it may seem, there are lots of books and websites making promises like, ‘Lose 12lbs in 6 weeks!’ or ‘Get Super Abs in 10 Days!’ – but the harsh truth is that improved fitness takes time and commitment. Ideally, exercise and activity should be a lifetime commitment with ever-changing goals and expectations.
If you can think about ‘doing more’ with that in mind, it should help you live a longer, healthier life. Not only that, but weight loss (often a reason for increasing exercise) is likely to help you reach a sustainable body shape and weight if it happens over a longer period of time.
Short term goals
In the short term, however, set realistic goals when it comes to increasing the activity you do. You may be highly motivated to start with, but reality checks are important: ask yourself these three questions.
- Are you being realistic? Can you achieve your fitness goals in a few weeks, or will it take months of comittment? If so, then make sure you create interim ‘achievement’ points in your mind’s eye – it’ll help you achieve your goals.
- What will it really take to achieve your aims? If you plan an increased level of activity that means getting up at 4am, but you’re not naturally an early-riser, then you may need to think again. Being sensible about increasing fitness levels will also help you to stay injury-free. Slow and steady really does win the race!
- Can you imagine yourself, reaching those goals? You want a level of activity that you can commit to for the long term, not just this week. Be honest, ask yourself – can I do this? If you believe that you can, that’s great, and being positive is all part of feeling better about yourself – and that’s what fitness is all about.
A little help goes a long way
Whether you’re making short term fitness plans, or you’re commiting to improved fitness and a healthier lifestyle overall, it may be easier if you share your goals with a friend or member of your family. Articulating that commitment will make it seem more real, and give you a reason to get up, and get active!