The setting of goals for your fitness or health is both a necessity and a little trap. A Personal Trainer or coach could help you out with this. Most people want to reach a certain goal with their fitness, physique or overall health. Even if that is just to maintain their current level.
Once you are aware of your goal, what you really want, you can track your status and progress along your journey. This is why it proves to be that important. If you do not have set goals, you cannot track if your work in the gym and kitchen is paying off. I have written an earlier post on the importance of tracking your workouts (read here about Tracking Your Training), but it starts with setting a goal you want to achieve.
Where the little trap comes in, is where you actually set the goals. As with many other circumstances, it really pays of to make sure you make your goals SMART. The well-known management model can also be used for setting your fitness and health goals. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-related. A good personal trainer or coach could really help with this. They are more experienced by their own account and their clients’ on what works and is realistic.
You should be specific with the goals you set. For instance that you want to get rid of “X” amount of kilograms, or get your body fat percentage under “X” %. A goal that is generic as “getting fitter” is not specific enough and very difficult to measure. A good personal trainer will help you set this specific goal, but also to add some smaller increments to have milestones along the way. This leads to the next item.
When you set your goals, you should be setting them in such a way that it is measurable. The earlier mentioned weight loss and reduced body fat are measurable, the “getting fitter” goal is not. There is not a way to measure that, unless you define for instance what you should be able to do. An example would be to climb the stairs to the third floor without being out of breath for 5 minutes.
It is not only the goal that should be acceptable to you, but also the means to get there should be acceptable to you. Many goals require hard work and you have to be aware that you have to put in a lot of work to get there. At this part, a trainer will be able to point out the particular points and requirements related to these goals.
You need to make sure that the goals you set are realistic. If you gradually gained weight over the past 5 years, it is unrealistic to aim to get rid of this in the coming 5 days, weeks or months. It is best to aim for realistic things and when you have bigger goals, to cut these up in smaller goals that you could use as milestones on your path to your end-goal as mentioned before. This last bit helps even more with your motivation, since you should have a collection of achievements before you in the end reach your goal. Once again, a good personal trainer makes sure you dial this in.
Finally, you should have a time-related aspect to your goals. Once you have set your goal, you should also set the time frame in which you want to achieve that goal. This way it is clear when you should have achieved your goal, but you are also able to set milestones in between. The time aspect is also closely related to the relastic part of the goals. The goals or milestones need to be achievable in the set time-frame. Also on this part, a personal trainer or coach brings experience and can guide you in setting the correct goals and course.
All in all it is not rocket science, but it is very easy to lose track of setting a SMART goal. That is where a good coach or trainer comes in. He or she will help you to set specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic and time-related goals.
Do you want to know more how Continuous Improvement Fitness could help you with that? Get in touch by email here, or leave a comment below.
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