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Fitness Goal Setting: Turn Your Fitness Goals Into Manageable Steps

sneakers being laced up
Achieved a fitness goal recently? Celebrate your success with your fitness friends!

by Steven Auger

Everyone sets goals for themselves when they start something new — especially when that something new is a fitness journey! It's great to have healthy aspirations, and it's also important to have an action plan in mind! If you're a goal-setter and have lofty objectives in mind for your gym experience, it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed. It might help to breakdown your fitness goals into manageable steps so you can stay motivated, meet your goals, and enjoy yourself along the way! Here are some tips for building a fitness goal setting strategy.

Stay Organized

Organization is key when it comes to setting fitness goals. Start by writing your goals down. Once you have them summarized on paper, it tends to be easier to focus on your fitness goal endgame.

If your goal is to run a mile in eight minutes but your best time is 10 minutes, you probably won't hit that goal on your next run. Instead, you should look to achieve your long-term goal by setting lots of smaller, more immediate goals that are geared toward your overall goal.

Divide and Conquer

Start by breaking down your overall fitness goals into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks.

You've already identified your long-term goals — now you should determine how long you think it will take you to accomplish them. A year? Six months? Be realistic with your estimate and give yourself plenty of time!

Next, map out your monthly goals. Pick one aspect of your objective that you can reach in a month. Maybe you want to trim 10 seconds off your mile time. Pick a Saturday or a Sunday at the end of each month to reflect on the progress you've made in the past 30 days, and then set another mini-goal for the next month.

Next, are your weekly goals. Set up another session every Sunday to determine what it will take over the course of the next week to hit your monthly goal.

Finally, determine your daily goals. Each morning or evening, work out a few steps you can take on a daily basis to help you accomplish your weekly goal.

The key to mastering fitness goal setting is understanding that your daily goals are connected to your weekly goals, which are connected to your monthly goals. And those monthly goals are connected to your overall goals!

Seeing Is Believing

Sometimes it can be hard to determine whether you're making steady progress toward a fitness goal. Maybe your mile time was a bit slower than it was a few days ago, but that doesn't mean you aren't closer to meeting your goals! As long as you're making it to the gym — even if it's just for 10 minutes — you are still moving forward.

You can also take advantage of a fitness gadget to see just how hard you're working. A heart rate monitor shows your heart rate increasing when you're on the elliptical machine. A pedometer tracks the number of steps you take on a daily walk at lunch. You can even use a sleep tracker to measure the quantity and quality of your sleep the night before a morning workout.

Rewards Earned for Goals Achieved

Once you've accomplished one of your monthly goals, reward yourself! And yes, you do deserve a reward since you worked hard to get where you are. There are plenty of healthy reward choices you can make that won't set your progress back.

Schedule a massage, or if you've been meaning to upgrade your workout wardrobe, maybe go shopping! You could even give yourself a social media shoutout on Planet of Triumphs and hear some words of encouragement from your gym community. Just make sure you nail that gym selfie when you post!

Now that you've got a solid strategy for fitness goal setting, the sky's the limit for your fitness journey!

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