How to Set Realistic and Attainable Goals to Elevate Your Fitness Journey

Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

Regular exercise is an essential part of health and wellbeing, offering numerous physical and mental benefits. While you certainly don’t have to set specific fitness goals in order to reap these benefits, realistic, appropriate goals can be useful in creating a sustainable and effective exercise routine. By establishing achievable targets, you increase your chances of maintaining motivation and sticking with your routine long-term. Here are some tips to help you set fitness goals that are realistic and appropriate for your individual needs.

Assess Your Current Fitness Level

In order to set appropriate goals for yourself, it’s important to understand where you currently stand in terms of fitness. Take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, and overall fitness level, considering factors such as endurance, flexibility, and strength. For example, don’t expect to be able to run a marathon in a month if you’ve never even run a mile. Being honest with yourself will help you to determine what you can realistically achieve in the short term versus what would be more appropriate as a long-term goal. 

Use the SMART Method

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, and this framework is a helpful way to define what goals you’d like to set. Be specific about what you want to achieve, such as running a 5K or losing a certain amount of weight. Ensure your goals are measurable so that you can track progress along the way, and keep them achievable and relevant to your overall fitness aspirations. Finally, set a realistic time frame to keep yourself focused and accountable.

Break Goals Into Smaller Steps

Large, overwhelming goals can lead to discouragement and setbacks, so we suggest breaking down your long-term goals into smaller, manageable steps. For example, if your ultimate goal is to run a marathon, start by aiming to run a few miles a day and add on as you become more comfortable. Reaching smaller milestones will provide a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated to push forward.