22 May, 2017

the importance of setting fitness goals

It’s nothing new but often overlooked. Setting a goal will drastically improve your chance of reaching a desired outcome. It sounds really obvious. However, it might surprise you to hear that many people go to the gym or partake in fitness activities with no real goal in mind, without any real objective.

If you think about any task you do, whether simple or complex, there is usually a goal at the end of it. For example, most weeks you perform a simple task in writing a shopping list with the intention of buying those items because you need them. You know whether you’ve been successful once you’ve checked them off against the list. Without that list there is an increased likelihood you might forget something which equates to not achieving your goal.

The same principle can be applied to fitness. Having a goal and writing it down somewhere you can check it helps you to plan what you need to do to achieve it. So you don’t end up in the gym wandering around wondering what exercise to include in your session.

Not having a goal also makes it hard to know what you’ve achieved or what you’re trying to achieve. You might think you’re doing all the right things, but in reality you’re focussing too much time on one aspect of your fitness and not enough on another. Fitness goals are important as they help us to stay aligned and do the workouts we might skip if left to our own devices.

The mind is an incredible tool but subconsciously it can deceive us. For example, if you don’t like leg days, it’s easy to forget the last time you did a leg strength session. Without a goal you might think “I did a leg session last week, that’s okay,” but in actual fact it was 2 weeks ago, and now you’ve neglected it again and your overall strength is lacking.

However, if you regularly check your fitness goals, you’ll quickly realise that you’re not on target with leg strength like you are in other areas. Without your written fitness goals, you won’t notice it until your friend’s start making sarcastic comments about your chicken legs.

Fitness goals are perhaps the best form of maintaining motivation for exercise.  Short term goals give you a sense an immediate target to focus on while long term goals keep your overall objective in mind, striving for higher achievements. When you reach your goals, tick them off against your list and make new ones.  In my experience, being able to do that provides a great sense of satisfaction and extra motivation to start on the next goal.

In summary, here is why fitness goals are important.

  1. They keep you on the right track
  2. They make working out efficient
  3. They help you progress more quickly
  4. They help you see your progress
  5. They keep you motivated

If you want to learn more, our Personal Trainer Course teaches a range of goal setting techniques, which are effective to use for clients and your own training.

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