Getting back into the habit of eating right & exercising is never easy. And the thought of getting fit can seem like a daunting task, even if you’ve been there before. But fear not! It can be done, no matter where you are in life. But you’ve got to plan, and setting fitness goals should be your first step.
Why do you want to get fit?
It doesn’t matter what it is – starting exercise, a new diet, applying for a new job or the beginnings of a relationship. If you go into it with the wrong preparation & motivation, you’re likely to fail. Harsh, but true.
So the first step in setting fitness goals is working out what your motivations for getting fit are. This allows your fitness goals to be appropriate, allowing you a higher likelihood of achieving your fitness goals.
First things first; Think back to when the thought first popped into your head about getting fit:
- Was it because you were nervous about the thought of wearing a bikini?
- Did you have to run to catch the train and were worried by how puffed out it made you?
- Were you self-conscious about your body when you were in the buff in front of a new rompy-pompy partner?
- Was it because you were having trouble keeping up with the kids while playing?
- Are you wanting to get back to a previous level of fitness that you were happy with?
Whatever it is, hang on to that memory. If you don’t remember it, don’t stress! You can brainstorm what are your current motivators are and use that.
What’s your reality?
Now we’re at the pointy end of the stick! Time to start working out the facts.
For the sake of the argument, I’m going to use the below main motivation as an example:
“I don’t like how my body looks in a bikini”
I’ll use this motivator as an example from now on, but mentally slot yours in instead wherever you see this written. I am just using this as an example to help you work our your own fitness goals.
Sub motivators are also important to work out here. You could say you’re concerned that you literally couldn’t run to save yourself (and want to be able to run at least 5kms), or that you really want to get fit before you hit 30.
Now that we have established that our prime motivator is a physically oriented one, and there is an age & event sub motivator, we can work with some facts:
- What is your current weight, height and BMI (Body Mass Index)? If you don’t know your BMI, you can google BMI Calculator in Google and it will come up with a heap of options, but I quite like the Heart Foundations’ calculator.
- Is your BMI in the healthy range, or is it high/low?
- If in the healthy range, then you can likely get stuck straight into some form of exercise, which we’ll go into in a later post.
- If it is high or low, you should see a doctor before performing any additional exercise. They will give you a check-up to make sure that your body will cope with the new physical stress that exercise can be and to make sure you get the most out of.
- If you are overweight & unfit, then your plan will need to involve a change of mindset about your diet. Are you prepared to rethink your current eating habits to help achieve your fitness goals?
- Are there any emotional barriers in the way of you achieving your fitness goals? Sometimes you will only find these out once you start the journey, but it’s best to sit down and think hard about this before you start. That way you can prepare yourself for any mental obstacles you might face early one.
- Any physical obstacles? A bung knee, or a dodgy wrist, for example, would change the types of exercise that you can do to reach your fitness goals.
- What are your time constraints? It’s all good and well to say you want to work out 2 hours a day. But if you work full time, have a family, or are a social butterfly, this may change how much time you can realistically put into exercise.
All fitness goals & motivators will have different realities. So make sure you do your best to realise them before you get stuck into achieving your goal. But make sure you don’t use them as an excuse!
Write your motivation(s) down
No matter what they are. Write. Them. Down. Capiche? Good. Now display it somewhere where you can see it every damn day.
The reason that I push for you to physically write your motivators down, as opposed to typing them into your computer or phone? It’s because when something is written on a piece of paper or in a diary it is a tangible asset. As opposed to something immaterial that can get lost into your phones growing memo notes.
The important thing is to be proud of your motivations, and never ashamed of them. You’re working towards something beautiful here, and should be proud of yourself! Seeing it every day is a healthy reminder on why you’re getting up at 6 am for a run or why you’re going to slug away at the gym after work – to achieve your fitness goals.
Work out your fitness goals
It may seem like a lot of work to just work out fitness goals, let alone starting to achieve it. But by having the proper preparations behind you you’re SO much more likely to succeed.
Here we’ll keep using the bikini bod motivator, as well as wanting to run a 5k’er and only being one year off being thirty. Assuming we have a having a healthy BMI, no physical contracts & we have spare time to exercise, we can form a goal.
I’m a bit of a fan (as annoying as they are to make) of SMART goals. And I’m not capitalising that because I’m excited; it’s an acronym. A SMART goal has to be:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – time-based
SMART goals, especially SMART fitness goals, need to be realistic. Realistic without aiming too low, of course.
Instead of trying to lump it all into one fitness goal, we’re going to make two fitness goals here. You should make as many or as few as feel right to you and your situation.
Fitness Goal 1# – Be fit enough to comfortably run in the City2Sea 5km race on November 20th.
Let check this off as a SMART goal:
- Is it specific? Yes, it covers all bases.
- Is it measurable? Yes, because I will either finish the race comfortably, finish the race uncomfortably (does than mean chaffing?!), or not run at all.
- Is it achievable? Yes. I calculated that by using the C25K app, and knowing I’ll be able to run a full 5km a week before the race.
- Is it realistic? Yes. I will be pushing myself, but it is totally doable.
- Is it time-based? Yes, November 20th is the set date.
Fitness Goal #2 – Lose 5kgs (0.25kg per week) and have significantly increased my muscle tone by January 1st by following my exercise program.
- Is it specific? Yes, it covers all bases.
- Is it measurable? Yes, because I know how much weight I have to lose per week, and at what date I have to be a certain weight.
- Is it achievable? It’ll be challenging but is achievable.
- Is it realistic? Yup!
- Is it time-based? Yes, I have weekly dates/targets to meet and an overall deadline.
So there we have it! Two reasonable, achievable & trackable fitness goals.
I hope that you can use these hints to formulate your own fitness goals, and remember, coming this far is amazing! You have the drive, all you need now to do now is believe in yourself, get off ya bum, and get going!