Goals. We make them and we break them. They’re a lot like new years resolutions. Every January, the gym starts off packed with new members. But as the weeks go by, the gym becomes less and less crowded. Making goals can be like this too. We say we really want something. We start working towards it. But then we realize it’s so much more work than we anticipated, so we quit. When I first started out on my fitness journey, this was hard for me too. It wasn’t until I started making short term fitness goals that I really started seeing my progress.
Now when I work with clients I always make sure to talk to them about their goals. I want to make sure that I’m understanding exactly what they want to achieve. But most importantly, I want them to understand what their progress will realistically look like, and the work it will take them to get there. It’s not to discourage them from accomplishing big things, but rather to break their goals into stepping stones. I want them (and you) to appreciate the progress that’s made on the way to reaching those bigger goals.
I can honestly say that making short term fitness goals has helped me to find success. Here’s why I think it will help you to.
How short term fitness goals will help you succeed:
1. They make bigger goals easier to reach
Short terms goals help to break your bigger goals into bite sized pieces so they’re easier to reach. For example, let’s pretend you want to become a runner, and your big goal is to run a marathon one day. If you currently spend most of your free time as a professional couch potato, the road ahead of you will be a long one.
You’re more likely to quit or fail if the goal you’re working towards is hard, so what we want to do is make it easier. You can keep your longterm goal as “run a marathon”, but what you’ll also do is set smaller short term goals. These short term goals could include run 1km without stopping. Then next week maybe it’s run 2km without stopping. As you achieve your goals, you’re slowly increase them which helps you work towards your bigger goals, all while teaching you to appreciate your progress. Which leads me to my next point.
2. They track your progress
Making short term fitness goals is like a checklist style of tracking your progress. Check it off as it’s accomplished, and move on to the next one. Seeing your progress through a series of achieved goals can really help you feel good about yourself and what you’re aiming for longterm. It also helps you to appreciate the journey. Sometimes it can be amazing to look back at where you were, and how far you’ve come. It can also be a great lesson in learning to love your body for all that it does and all that it’s still learning to do.
3. They keep you motivated
Accomplishing goals, big or small, makes you feel like a boss. So who wouldn’t want that feeling more often? Short term fitness goals allow you to bask in your success more frequently and keep you feeling inspired. The more often you feel like you’re getting somewhere, the more likely you are to keep working at it. It’s the power of motivation. Big goals are exhausting. You put in a ton of work without moving much closer to achieving them, and you don’t see the benefit of reward for a long time. Short term goals reward you early, keep you tuned in and engaged, and push you closer to your finish line .
How to make short term fitness goals:
When you’re making short term fitness goals, there are three important rules I want you to follow.
- Be realistic
- Be specific
- Make your goals measurable
These three rules help to set you up for success. They deter you from making goals too far out of reach, and help you to see your progress along the way. Let’s talk about some examples.
1. Keep your goals realistic
If you’re setting goals, you need to be able to achieve them. Losing 10lbs in a week is not a realistic (or healthy) goal. Keep your goals bite sized. For example, if you really want to lose 10lbs, your short term fitness goal might be lose 1 or 2 pounds next week. Because we’re talking about short term progress here, you ideally want to be able to achieve your goal in a matter of weeks to a few months.
2. Be specific about what you want
You want to get as specific as possible when you’re making your short term goals. If you have an underlying idea of what you’re aiming for, think of ways that you can measure it to make it more specific. That could mean instead of making your goal get stronger, you would make it, do five full push ups by the end of the month.
3. Make sure you can measure your progress
Keeping your short term goals measurable helps to track when you’ve accomplished them. For example, let’s say you want to get better at yoga. You wouldn’t set your goal as do more yoga. Instead you would maybe say do yoga 3 times a week for the next month. You could also complete a 30 day yoga challenge as your short term goal. Both examples have a measurable amount of yoga that can track your progress and allow you to measure when you’ve achieved your goal. Once you’ve succeeded you can move on to make bigger goals to challenge yourself more.
Need an idea? Let’s brainstorm some fitness goals together.
- Want to go down 2 dress sizes? Your short term goal might start as lose 1 inch in the next 30 days.
- Want to start going to the gym 5 days a week? Your first goal might be to go to the gym 1-2 a week for the first month.
- Want to stop eating junk food? Your goal could start as cutting out soda for a month.
Once you have your short term fitness goals figured out, I want you to write them done and keep them visible. Stick them on your fridge, or read them everyday. The more you think about your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them.
4 tips to keep you on track:
Staying on track can be the biggest challenge to your success. Here are a few different things that can help you stay motivated to reach your short term fitness goals.
1. Visualize your goals
It might sounds silly, but I swear it works. In your head imagine what it would feel like to accomplish your goal. Picture what your life would look like and how happy you would be. Do this everyday to remind yourself why you want it.
2. Write them down
Put it on paper or type it in your phone. If you make a list, stick it on the fridge or put it in a frame on your bedside table. Need a more constant reminder? Set a reminder on your phone that pops up on your home screen daily.
3. Make better habits
A foundation that supports your goals can make or break your road to success. Build better habits to support what you want for your future. If your goal is eat healthier, stop stocking your pantry with boxes of cookies. If you want to exercise more, make time, watch less TV.
4. Build a support system
Chances are your friends and family will be more than happy to support your goals. Tell them what you’re working towards. If you feel yourself starting to get off track, talk to your support system. Let them remind you why you wanted it in the first place.
Love your #innerbabe
Okay inner babes, are you ready to start crushing your goals? Start making some short term fitness goals and we’ll work on them together. Once you start achieving your goals, don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. Rewards are essential for keeping you looking forward and ready to check off more goals. If you need some extra support, or you have any questions, hop on over to my Facebook page and join our community of inner babes.
Now it’s your turn to inspire us. What short term fitness goals are you working towards? Share them with us in the comments below.
That was a long one. Best to wash it down with a glass of water!