As the holidays approach, many people are thinking about losing weight, or at least trying not to gain weight. This means setting fitness goals. As you approach you diet and fitness goals for the winter, understand that building up your endurance and strength takes months and sometimes years. This is a lifestyle change that you should embrace for you physical and mental well-being. Pace yourself and prepare for a long, rewarding experience.
Goals are important for success
Countless studies have found that setting fitness goals is crucial to achieving success, particularly when it comes to fitness. Make an action plan before embarking on a new healthy lifestyle. But don’t set your sights too high; when you’re choosing a path, set S.M.A.R.T. goals -- that is, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Small goals keep you motivated
Setting fitness goals for yourself is crucial to success, you need a plan. But don’t try to plan to get it all accomplished within weeks. Have a big picture goal but keep the milestones small so you don’t get frustrated by the amount of time it’s taking to get there. Start with a goal of running a few miles at a time and work up from there.
Goals give you an action plan
Making a goal for yourself to achieve in six months is fine, but how are you going to know where to start? And how will you know if you’re on track? Set small milestones along the way and specific dates for you to achieve. It will help keep you on track and help you understand if you need to adjust your end result.
Give your body time to improve
If you try to do too much too quickly, you’re making yourself prone to painful and frustrating injuries that can set you back in your fitness routine. Recovery time is important -- give your body time to adjust to your new active lifestyle by taking a couple of days off a week to let your body rest. You don’t have to do nothing on those days -- just do something restorative like yoga or walking.
Write it down
Having a goal in your head is a start, but it’s not enough to keep you going each day. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you write down your specific fitness goals and outline a plan to get there. Fill your calendar with individual milestones to keep you on track and remind you to keep going.
Reduce stress by planning ahead
Setting small, achievable fitness goals will reduce the stress of trying to achieve something with no action plan. Not only will goals help you reduce stress by allowing you to feel like you’re in control, they’ll also help you manage your time better because you’ll have a specific schedule that you can stick to each week.
Share your success
A recent study shows that people who share their fitness and weight loss goals and everyday successes on social networking sites are more likely to actually achieve their long-term goals than those who don’t.
Don’t go at it alone
Research shows that women who regularly work out with an exercise buddy are more likely to train harder and more consistently than those who do it alone. If you’re serious about getting into shape, find a friend who will join you on the journey and set goals together.
Give yourself some motivation
Losing weight and getting fit are great benefits of an active lifestyle, but they might not be enough motivation to keep you going over the next few months. For instance, studies show that people do better with healthy changes when there’s some sort of monetary payoff at stake. Reward yourself along the way with something small -- a new pair of jeans or a massage, for your small achievements, and something big when you meet your ultimate goal.
For more information on setting fitness goals, contact Best Fitness in your area.