4 Signs It's Time to Set New Fitness Goals

woman yawning while stretching at a track
If you're bored, if you've hit a plateau, or if you don't know where to go after your last fitness accomplishment, setting exercise goals for something new can get you back on track!

by Autumn Jones

A lot can change throughout your fitness journey, but instead of letting life's twists derail your focus, you can hit the refresh button and get back on track by setting exercise goals!

You'll know it's time to establish a few fresh fitness goals when you begin to lose momentum or interest in your workouts. If you're feeling stuck, check out these four signs it's time to update your fitness goals to stay motivated!

1. You've Reached Your Initial Goal

Setting and accomplishing a fitness goal can feel amazing, and you deserve all the high-fives for a job well done! But you might be wondering where to go from here now that you've crossed a major item off your exercise to-do list. Start by asking yourself what sounds fun. Have you always wanted to run a 5K or compete in a bike race? Think of ideas that feel as exciting as they do challenging. Not only can this spark your interest in setting exercise goals, but it can also boost your motivation for starting something new.

2. Your Responsibilities Have Changed

Life events like switching jobs, moving, having a baby, or recovering from an injury definitely affect your priorities — and let's be honest, in these cases, working out can get bumped to the bottom of the list. Although these circumstances can pose challenges, if you get creative you just might find new ways to fit in more movement.

Can you wake up earlier? Go walking on your lunch break? Fit in a longer workout over the weekend? See if you can carve out even 20 minutes in your schedule to get moving a few times a week.

3. You Hit A Plateau

It can feel super frustrating when your body pumps the breaks on your fitness progress, but don't allow that feeling to throw you off your game! Setting exercise goals for the next level and keeping a positive attitude can help you overcome the slump.

Start by figuring out what worked to get you this far, and then be honest about what didn't work. Look for ways to build on the things that contributed to your success. It might be time to increase the intensity of your workouts or add more weight training, as Mayo Clinic suggests. Additionally, try revising the things that didn't work so you don't repeat the same mistakes.

4. You're Bored

Does the thought of getting on the treadmill three times a week make you yawn? The best way to bust up a workout boredom funk is to try something new! According to Everyday Health, even swapping similar activities can renew your interest in hitting the gym. If you've been biking, try a cycling class. Love weights? How about giving TRX a try instead? Mixing up your routine can be the perfect medicine for a case of workout boredom.

Setting exercise goals isn't a one time thing — part of staying engaged in your fitness journey is revisiting your goals regularly. It's completely OK to switch gears, set new goals, and find different ways to stay motivated. Everyone from the novice gym member to the professional athlete needs to switch things up from time to time. In fact, it's a healthy way to stay inspired and connected to your mission!

As always, please consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. See a full medical disclaimer here.