How to Set Appropriate Fitness Goals
After I had my son in November of 2012, I set a fitness goal for myself. My goal was to lose the 50 plus pounds I had gained throughout my pregnancy, and I would achieve that goal by exercising at least six or seven days a week. Now I’m sure you are all wondering, “Did she do it?” About a year and a half later, I was pregnant with my second child. During that time, I had NOT reached my goal of losing all of the baby weight. Don’t get me wrong. I was definitely losing weight, and it was all thanks to 9Round. However, I believe my body could have gotten into better shape much faster, if I had set an appropriate goal for myself. My fitness goal was too vague, and I slowly started to lose my motivation. My cheat meals went from once a week to three or four times a week. It has been almost four months since I gave birth to my precious little girl, and I am in better shape now than I have ever been. A little less than two months after I gave birth to my daughter, I was already back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Not only did I notice the number dropping on the scale, but I also noticed how GREAT I was feeling in my clothes. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this happy with my body, and that is something I never thought I would say after giving birth to two children! I realized that in order for me to reach my fitness goal, I needed to learn how to set my goal the right way. Here are some tips that I hope will help you set an appropriate goal for yourself!
Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
Sound familiar? This relates to personal, work, fitness and any type of goal you are trying to achieve. Setting a “SMART” fitness goal will set you up for a successful outcome.
Specific - Your goal should be clearly defined. My original goal of losing 50 pounds was NOT specific. Because I was not specific, it was easy for me to slack on my fitness routine. I gave myself excuses to skip a few days at the gym.
Measurable - You need to be easily able to determine if your goal has been accomplished. For example, a weight loss goal is easy to measure. If you wish to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks, you are able to determine in 4 weeks if you were able to reach that weight loss goal.
Attainable & Realistic - A common mistake many people make when setting their fitness goal is setting a goal that is unattainable. When I say unattainable, I mean unrealistic. Setting high goals for yourself is great and very much encouraged, but you have to make sure that it is realistic. If you want to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, it’s not realistic. If you know how to stay healthy and lose 10 pounds a week, please share your secret!!
Timely - You should set deadlines to help keep you on track. Setting a timeline for your fitness goal will help you stay motivated. If you have 12 weeks to lose 3 inches off of your waistline, you can break it down into mini-goals. Your mini-goal can be to lose 1 inch every 4 weeks. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Write It Down
Take out a piece of paper or your phone, and write down your “SMART” goal. Then figure out a plan on how you will reach your goal. How often will you go to the gym? How far will you run? By having a plan for your goal, you are making yourself more accountable.
If you do seem to fall off track from your plan, do not consider it as a failure. I made this mistake quite a few times. When I had an extra cheat meal during the week, I did not fail. I stayed positive and got back into the swing of things right away. We are all human, and we are not perfect.
The most important thing to remember when setting your goal is planning to reward yourself. Reward yourself with non-food treats after reaching your goals. This can be for short term or long term goals. The feeling of success will help you stay motivated and keep you on track!
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