It can be easy when you first start your fitness journey to come in to the gym and do a little of this, a little of that, and maybe see some progress. Especially if you’re new, or had taken one of those “extended vacations.” Eventually though, to keep seeing that progress, you’ve got to sit down and set out some goals.
While it can definitely sound intimidating to write down your goals and think about what it is you can achieve, it’s the very first step to getting them. When you sit down to think about your goals, you want to make sure you follow these 5 rules, and they’ll help keep you on track!
1. Limit The Amount. Make sure that you don’t set 10 different fitness goals all at the same time. An easy way to do this is to sit down and list off everything you think is the most important thing in the world to you. Whether that be a double bodyweight deadlift, a sub 4 hour marathon, 6 pack abs, just like when you brainstorm, no bad ideas. Got your list? Good! Now, pick three of them. That’s right. Just the three. Then make the rest of the list only about those three.
2. Get Realistic. Check out those three goals. Any really big goals? The ones that make you just a little scared and want to hide in the corner? That’s awesome! But, and this is big, keep in mind where you are and where you want to be. So you want to lift a double bw deadlift, but you don’t know how to load bumper plates on a bar… So you want that sub 4 marathon, but walking to the fridge for another beer gets you a little huffy… So you want those abs but damn if someone didn’t bring donuts to work again… It doesn’t mean you won’t get to those lofty goals. What it does mean is you’ve got to look at the steps to take to get there. Like starting with learning proper deadlift form, beginning a walking program, or just saying no to dessert sometimes. Which takes us to the next one.
3. Get Help! This is huge. Yes you can do it on your own. Sure you can make all the mistakes yourself and figure it out. Or you could also get frustrated not being able to figure it out and quit. Get help! It can be as simple as finding a friend to keep you accountable. You can find a trainer who specializes in what it is you want, but don’t knock the effectiveness of an accountabili-buddy.
4. Tell Everyone. This one is a little weird and sometimes people really shy away from it. But seriously, tell people. Keep in mind those people that will support you and stay within that group. Others, who will tear you down, don’t deserve to even know. You don’t have to get into all the specifics, but if your goal is to eat healthier, tell the people around you. If your goal is to run more, tell them. By telling people, you’re saying that it’s important to you and they’ll ask you about it regularly. They may not know half of what the ins and outs are, but they know it matters to you and can help support you. Then, when they do come asking, little sucks more than having to tell someone you gave up. It’s harsh, but it will help tremendously.
5. Give Credit. Lastly, give yourself credit when it’s due. Make sure you earned it though. Patting yourself on the back for nothing makes you think it’s already done and, if that’s the case, you will get no progress. But if you eat dessert every night and the next week you only eat it three nights; dammit, give yourself credit. When you feel like the gym is a hopeless place, but you still show up and work hard at achieving something, that is deserving. Don’t save your self praise for the big things, but acknowledge the small victories on the path towards the goals themselves.
Limit the amount, be realistic, get help, tell everyone, and give credit. 5 things, simple enough, but together, immensely powerful. Find the goals that are gonna get you jumping out of bed in the morning. Once you find them, crush them!
And don't forget...