Fitness Goal Setting Fundamentals

Establishing realistic fitness goals, as is mentioned in this column frequently, is essential when attempting to achieve fitness success. However, rather than discussing the specific, measureable, attainable, realistic and timely aspects of goal setting (i.e. S.M.A.R.T.), this week the focus will be upon asking yourself questions that may lead to fundamental goal establishment regarding your fitness program.

Please consider the following six questions and do some “deep” thinking as you answer these questions thoughtfully, truthfully and specifically, placing your answers in writing. While this is not an exhaustive series of questions, it may be the spark that ignites your taking action toward establishing realistic goals and achieving those goals. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Goal Setting Question #1 What goals do you want to achieve regarding your fitness program? Common answers are weight management, improving muscular strength/endurance, improving flexibility, stability and balance, etc. However, this is your life and body that we are considering, not what you feel you “should” answer based upon other’s opinions or goals. Therefore, determine your goals creating a written list in order of priority.

Goal Setting Question #2 Why do you want to achieve these goals? This is a crucial point to consider—why do these goals matter to you? What matters most is what matters to you, your life, your future. Perhaps identifying the elements that are most important to you will enable you to more effectively determine the “why”.

Goal Setting Question #3 What do you believe you must do to achieve these goals? Within your belief system, what steps do you feel you must take to accomplish these stated goals? This often means examining your lifestyle currently and determining the areas of your lifestyle that may need to be modified in order to achieve your goals. Then, list those areas of needed change in order of priority.

Goal Setting Question #4 Are you willing to take the necessary steps, apply the effort and commitment that are required to achieve these goals? While a challenging question to answer, this is just you and your journal. So, take a moment to determine if you are sincerely willing to take these steps, place forward the effort and make the commitment that life-changing goals require.

Goal Setting Question #5 What guidance and direction do you believe you will require to take the necessary steps toward achieving these goals? Most of us need an initiation point, at the very least, to begin our fitness journey. And, the beginning often includes determining if we have access to the knowledge and experience to develop a well-designed, safe and effective fitness path leading to our goals. Will this be through a certified, qualified, experienced personal trainer? Do you require a coach that is specifically trained within certain parameters to help you achieve your goals? Will the steps include a “team” of health/fitness professionals to take you to the finish line?

Goal Setting Question #6 Are you willing to seek out the guidance and direction which may lead to taking the necessary steps toward achieving these goals? And, if you answered question #5 affirming that you do require guidance and direction to achieve these goals, are you willing to do so? Are you going to make that contact today?

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