In general, when it comes to fitness people tend to jump out of the gate with unrealistic goals for their body composition, eating plans and workout regimen, which can lead to dissatisfaction in their progress. When you come to realize that fitness is not a journey focused on the end destination and is instead a commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle you will be more like to reach your fitness goals. Learning how to set realistic goals and achieve realistic results is one of the best things that you can do to keep your healthy lifestyle going.
Making your goals realistic isn’t about limiting your aspirations or intentions, it’s just about making each step along the way count so that you don’t become discouraged and quit. It’s about making sure that even when your goal is to compete at the olympia next year, you are still paying attention to each day that you can lift more weight or workout longer. Because it is achieving these smaller more realistic goals that will help you to achieve realistic results over time. Here are a few tips to help you set realistic goals that can push you further into fitness and help you succeed.
Realistic Goal Tip #1: Make Your Goals Personal
The best way to turn an generic goal into a realistic goal is to make it personal. Decide which aspect of health and fitness is most important to you and focus your goals around that area. If you are trying to increase muscle mass and bulk up then a goal of cutting calories and running a faster mile are probably going to be less helpful than a goals revolving around keeping track of your macronutrient intake and increasing your lifting weights. Know what you are trying to achieve and match your milestone goals to your long term vision.
Realistic Goal Tip #2: Get Specific
Chances are that if you’re reading this blog you’ve already decided to “get healthy”. And while getting healthy is certainly a realistic goal it is a bit too broad to actually help you achieve it. You need to get more specific when you are making up your health and fitness goals. Once you make it personal, it will be easier to make it specific. For instance if you want to increase your muscle mass you might make your goal personal by aiming to increase the weight that you lift. Making this goal specific though means saying that you’re going to increase the weight by a certain amount every certain number of days or weeks.
Realistic Goal Tip #3: Focus On Measurability
Measurability goes right along with making your realistic goals specific. You want to be able to show that you are getting closer to your end goal by showing that you’ve reached milestones along the way. Setting up measurable goals is the only way to do that. Using our bulking example a measurable goal might be that in 3 months you want to be able to lift 30 pounds more than you can right now. This is measurable because you are able to track your progress from day one to day 90 and see whether or not you’ve hit your mark. Without the measurable aspect your goal is too vague to realistically achieve your goals.
Realistic Goal Tip #4: Set An End Date
Even though health and fitness should be apart of your everyday lifestyle, your milestone goals should still have an end date so that you can celebrate progress. Setting an end date helps you measure your gains and keep you on track to continue to living a healthy and active life. Setting an end date doesn’t mean that your effort stops on that date, it simply means that is the time you have set aside to measure your progress and assess your current situation. This is when you will decide whether or not you made your goal and how to proceed from there. This may also be the time you decide to set your next realistic milestone goal (if you haven’t already).
Realistic Goal Tip #5: Know Your Limits
The most important thing to remember when setting health and fitness goals is to know your limits and to always keep them in mind. Sure, you should push yourself toward improvement but you should also know when to stop, otherwise you may end up injuring yourself and setting your progress back weeks or even months. Remember that you should always measure yourself against yourself and never against someone else. Everybody has different strengths and abilities so it stands to reason that everyone has different limits as well. Working within your own is the only safe way to achieve realistic results and meet or even exceed your goals.
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