Be S.M.A.R.T. – Realistic goal setting for fitness

The art of goal setting is meant to plant an inspiring vision in our minds and make self-discipline seem like child play. Whether you want to lose weight or increase your endurance, it’s important to tailor your workout to fit your goals.

Repeatedly failing to stick to your goal might mean that your goal was nonstick in the first place. Either that or that you haven’t figured out how to reach it.

Prioritize Your Fitness Goals

Fitness goals are rewarding to achieve. Whether your goal is to attain an ideal weight, to become healthier, or just to fit into last year’s jeans, it is important to prioritize your goals in terms of importance.
Whether you want to:
· Lose weight
· Increase your body muscle mass
· Improve your fitness
· Improve your overall health
… having clear and concise fitness goals makes it easier to achieve success.
Fitness goal setting can mean the difference between being healthy or not.
Once you know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you’ll need some strategies for sticking with it:

· Schedule your workouts
· Set weekly goals and reward yourself each time you succeed
· Work out with friends or family for added motivation
· Recommit to your goals every day
· Be prepared by always having your workout bag with you.
· Keep a food and workout journal to stay on track and measure your progress
· Take your measurements regularly.
Here are six steps for setting inspiring goals:

Determine what you want

What do you want to enjoy or feel from physical activity? Write it down. That’s your goal.

Set realistic goals

You may need to disregard the stringent fitness advice that may be ideal for physiological reasons but with which you won’t stay because it requires high amounts of effort. Learn to reach more modest, achievable targets first.

Focus on the doing

Choose process goals over end result. An example of a process goal would be: “Walking to work three times this week.” Here, success depends on your involvement rather than your performance.

Give yourself a time limit

If you don’t find an activity very motivating at first, give yourself some short-term objectives. A weekly goal may give you many occasions to successfully reach a goal. This will build your motivation.

Make it interesting

There is a wide range of activities available, some less structured, some more structured. Vary your workout, as there is nothing more de – motivating than doing the same repetitive workout again and again.

Make it regular, yet flexible

To maintain regular physical activity, people with time constraints may prefer flexible scheduling. Select a few convenient times — early morning, right after work or even during work — and do something at one of those times every day. Have a plan to replace your missed sessions.

The most important part is to enjoy your workouts because’, enjoyment provides a vision that convinces the heart, and goal setting keeps that in sight.

Y. Ramakrishna

The author is a Sports Performance Enhancement Specialist

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