A highly effective fitness regime starts with setting goals. It is somewhat ironic to talk about goals in terms of fitness because there are two definitions to the word. It can mean:
“A base, station, or bound used in various games; in football, a line between two posts across which the ball must pass in order to score; also, the act of kicking the ball over the line between the goal posts. (Babylon’s Dictionary)
Or it can be: The final purpose or aim; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or
attain.” (Babylon’s Dictionary)
While we are obviously talking about the second definition, it bears in mind that most athletic events have a goal in mind as well! Your fitness goals will probably revolve around reaching and maintaining specific weight levels, resting heart rates, or endurance levels.
For each of your goals, you will have various strategies to reach them. For instance, a strategy to lose weight is to eat no more than 1500 calories a day. Bear in mind that strategy and the goal are not the same thing. You shouldn’t limit your calories as a goal. You should limit your calories as a means to achieving a goal. You will want to have short term and long term goals, particularly if you have a big long term aim. For instance, a 250 pound woman shouldn’t make her primary goal to lose half of her body weight. While this may be a long term goal, she may want to aim to lose 10 pounds this month.
Always write down your goals. It is a good idea to post them on the bathroom mirror or other place where you will see them frequently. You should always set SMART goals. This stands for:
* Time Bound
So, a SMART goal would be: “I will lose 10 pounds by August 31 by limiting my calories to 1600 per day and working out at the gym 3 times per week.”
If you are embarking on an athletic endeavor along with your fitness regime, consider setting separate goals for workouts and competitions. For instance, if you are taking up tennis, you will want to have goals for your workouts that include returning 300 serves. But, if you are going to compete in a tournament, you may want to make it to the semi-finals. Don’t mix up the two goals because that will hurt your overall fitness performance. You can more easily control your workout goals than you can your competition goals because the competition goals can be impacted by the performance of other people.
Think about how you plan to meet your goals. Will you have rewards at various stages? For instance, after you make the quarter finals at the tennis match, will you buy a new racket?
From time to time, you should reevaluate goals. Some people find that they were overly ambitious in setting their goals and would be more motivated to revise them downward. Others find that they underestimated themselves and can push themselves harder.
Finally, realize that the journey is as important as the destination. Enjoy yourself as you start your new fitness regime.