How to Create Successful Fitness Goals for 2018
If you want to accomplish your fitness goals for 2018, it will be important to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Let’s review exactly what you need to know to set successful fitness goals for the New Year.
First, you want to establish your overall goal. Think long term but be very specific. Writing “I want to lose weight” isn’t a specific goal. You want to include how much weight you want to lose or how much muscle you want to gain. Do you want to be faster? How much faster? Do you want to beat a personal best? Define exactly what you want and don’t forget to add the reason behind it.
Example of a specific goal:
• I want to lose 10 pounds. I want to fit into the jeans that I was wearing three years ago. I want to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.
Next, your goal needs to be measurable. If you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass, you can track your progress on a scale, with measuring tape, and with pictures. If you have a performance-based fitness goal, you may need a sports specific set of measuring tools such as a stop-watch, track, or pool.
When to use measuring tools:
• Scale: Daily (and write down your weight for each day)
• Measuring tape: Once a month
• Pictures: Once a month
• Bioelectrical impedance: Once a month
Attainable goals are those you can create a plan around. If you want to build muscle, how will you do it? Write down your plan of attack. For example, building muscle requires a muscle-focused workout program, caloric surplus diet that is protein-centered, and supplements such as whey protein and creatine.
Examples of things you’ll need to attain your goal:
• Diet plan
• Workout program
• Personal trainer
• Workout partner
• Diet and workout tracking app
This is where most people have trouble: when it comes to setting goals, set yourself up for success. Most people want to accomplish their long-term goal in too short of a span of time. To avoid burn out, mental frustration, and throwing in the towel, give yourself a realistic timeline to accomplish what you want.
It’s important to remember that we all lose weight, gain muscle, and get better at an activity at our own pace. Some may be slower than others and that’s okay. The key is staying consistent to what you want, not small disappointments.
Generic guideline for fat loss / muscle building
• You can expect to lose between 0.5 and 2 pounds of fat per week, depending on a number of factors including how much weight you have to lose, your activity level, and diet.
• You can expect to gain between 0.25 and 1 pound of muscle per week, depending on a number of factors including your workout, caloric intake, and genetics.
Although you should be realistic, you still want to set a deadline for yourself as this helps to keep you motivated. Be generous but realistic with your deadline.
Example using the guidelines above
• If you want to lose 10 pounds, and it’s possible to lose one pound per week, then set a deadline of 12 weeks (3 months) from the day you start. Those extra two weeks will provide some welcome breathing room.
Do you use S.M.A.R.T. goals? What is the most challenging part of the goal setting process? Any tips you’d like to offer fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below.
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