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Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

By Sara Butler

You like to dream big, reach for the stars, maybe even go for the gold. There’s nothing wrong with aiming high and it’s likely brought you personal and professional success. But there is one area where shooting for the top may not be the best idea: fitness goals. When setting fitness goals for yourself, it’s better to take a calculated approach. Sure, you want to find success in fitness, but starting small and building is the way you will stay motivated. Here’s how to rein yourself in and set realistic fitness goals in order to set yourself up for success.

Why You Should Pace Yourself

When you first start out working toward a new endeavor, you’re probably pumped and ready to go. When you’re feeling totally motivated you often want to aim high due to your overzealousness. But fitness is a little different than other goals you may have in your life because you can’t do too much too quickly if you want to stay healthy. You need to set progressive fitness goals that will work with your fitness level. This can help to keep you motivated over the amount of time it will take to reach your goals. It’s OK to set a large, overreaching goal for yourself, but realize you need to set up smaller goals along the way to help you stay focused and motivated.

A Few Questions

Get out a piece of paper and answer these three questions:

  • How big is your goal? Think about how long you’ll need to accomplish the goal. If it’s longer than three months, then set smaller goals along the way, things you can accomplish in two to six weeks.
  • How will you achieve the goal? How much do you need to do to achieve your goal? Think about how much of a commitment it will take and determine if the frequency with which you’ll need to work out will fit into your life. Because if you can’t realistically make the time, then you probably won’t reach your goal.
  • Can you stick with it? You want to create a program that will help you stick to the things you must do to meet your goal. It’s not just for a week or even two weeks, but a long-term commitment. Ask yourself if you can really see yourself making this kind of commitment.

Treat Yourself!

Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way – that’s what the smaller goals are for. If you can set realistic fitness goals, then treat yourself when you reach your smaller goals along the way. You deserve it!

Setting goals is a great thing, just make sure to set goals that are attainable. We might all want to be the Michael Jordan on the basketball court, but that's not always the most realistic resolution in the new year!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Arvada, Colo.


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