11 Tips to Set Realistic Fitness Goals You’ll Actually Achieve, According to Top Trainers - Deepstash
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Setting attainable fitness goals

Setting attainable fitness goals

It is easy to get caught up in setting goals that are unsustainable and unrealistic, then when we fail, we feel worse about ourselves. 

However, with the right advice on how to do fitness goal setting, we can have real, positive change.


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Focus on one goal at a time

A big mistake when setting a fitness goal is to do too much at one time. You may want to go to the gym every day, cut out added sugar and get eight hours of sleep a night. With so many new goals, people get anxious, and if they fail at one, they feel like they failed in every goal.

It is easier to pick one goal. Like doing a pull-up or completing your first 5K, then use your efforts to achieve that before deciding on a next goal.


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Make it your own

Make it your own

You can feel inspired and envy the images of the super fit. But basing your own goals on what you see others achieving is not productive.

Top athletes can do things such as running a marathon or doing 100 push-ups. While it is great for them, it is not the goal that everyone should be measured by. Instead, your goal should be something realistic and achievable for you.


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Make it measurable, specific and time-bound

Make it measurable, specific and time-bound

A measurable and clear goal allows you to track it. Wanting to be stronger is too vague. Saying you want to do 20 push-ups in one minute makes it specific.

If the goal is also time-bound, you can develop a more structured plan for achieving the goals. A great way to help you is using the SMART method - your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.


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Set the bar low at first

Your goals should seem easy and within reach. You should feel very confident that you can achieve your goal.

The more success you have in your fitness journey, the more confident you will become, encouraging you to keep at it.


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Choose the long game

Choose the long game

Be realistic with the time frame you develop for reaching your goal.

Pick a goal you can achieve over the course of several months or a year. A long-term goal will help you see it as a lifestyle change instead of a quick fix, and you'll more likely continue.


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Understand what's driving your goal

Some goals are driven by underlying fears and insecurities. Therefore, it's important to address the issues instead of assuming that achieving your goal will soothe them.

If thinking about your goal brings anxiety, consider talking with a mental health professional.


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Be flexible in your definition of success

Be flexible in your definition of success

Permit yourself to change your goal as you progress. Perhaps your goal that seemed reasonable at first is really too difficult to maintain or may be too easy.

If your definition of success is rigid, you may find it difficult to maintain. However, there's nothing wrong with changing your goal as you become more comfortable with your abilities.


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Develop micro goals on the way to your larger goal

Within your main goal, schedule smaller goals that are achievable in a shorter period. For example, if you want to run a nine-minute mile, make a smaller goal of running a half-mile in five minutes.

Succeeding at the little victories will increase your motivation to complete the bigger goal. It's good to set mini-goals that can be achieved every two to three weeks. It can help to see if your macro goal is realistic.


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Consider a professional's input

Consider a professional's input

If you feel overwhelmed about the process or can't determine a realistic goal, it can be helpful to consult an expert, such as a certified personal trainer, to guide you.

They may ask you about various factors influencing your lifestyles, such as prior history with fitness, nutrition, work and social history. Once they understand your life, they can create a program around what works for you.


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Be honest about your prior and current habits

Be honest about your prior and current habits

If you have crushed several fitness goals in the past and just take it to the next level, you may likely set a more complex goal. But if you're new to fitness, you may want to focus on simple behaviour modifications, such as going to the gym a set number of days a week.

It's useful to consider what has stopped you from exercising in the past. For example, having a hard time getting up in the morning might mean evening workout classes will be more achievable.


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Find a support system

Support can make a huge difference in attaining a goal.

When you think about your goal, include who in your life could encourage and motivate you. Then ask them to help you.


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