It’s a new year, and it’s the perfect time to set some new goals for what you want to achieve in the coming months It’s important to set goals for yourself, especially when it comes to fitness. Having a goal helps you stay focused, motivated, and on track to reach that goal in a timely manner. While it’s great to have long-term fitness goals, such as running a marathon or losing fifty pounds, short term fitness goals are just as important.
6 Tips for Setting Short Term Fitness Goals
What’s the difference between a short-term and a long-term goal?
A short-term goal is one that you can accomplish in a few weeks or months, while a long-term goal takes longer to achieve — maybe the entire year or multiple years. The best way to meet your long term fitness goals is to break them up into smaller goals you can complete in the short term. For example, if you have weight loss goals or want to set an ultimate goal of going on a long run (like a marathon), you would break those up into smaller goals that you can achieve more immediately. You might focus on implementing healthy habits, increasing your physical activity, or finding a personal trainer to help you set up a workout routine. When you’ve reached one milestone, you can set a new goal! Setting many small goals will help you build up to great long-term results. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts has some great ideas for long-term fitness goals and how you can split them up into short-term goals.
Short term goals are a good way to keep us accountable along the way to achieving our bigger goals. Actionable Wellness dives deeper into some of the benefits of short-term fitness goals, such as growth, direction, and momentum. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to set and achieve short term fitness goals.
Set Reasonable Goals
The first step in setting short-term fitness goals is to make sure they are reasonable. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations like losing twenty pounds in one month; instead focus on smaller attainable goals like going for a thirty minute walk three times per week, making sure that your goal is in line with your current fitness level. Your goal should also be specific; rather than saying “I want to get fit” try “I want to complete two 5K runs this month.” Making your goal specific will give you something concrete to strive for and will help you measure your progress along the way.
Start with SMART Goals
When setting any goal, it’s important to make sure that it is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART). If don’t set smart fitness goals, you might not be able to complete them and will feel discouraged. So before anything else, make sure that you have a clearly defined goal that is within your reach.
For instance, if your long-term objective is to run a marathon in 12 months time, an achievable short-term goal could be running 5km without stopping within the next month or following a fitness routine for 3 months. This specific objective gives you something tangible that you can work towards and measure as you go along. It also allows for flexibility; if after one month of training you find that running 5km without stopping is too difficult for now, adjust the goal accordingly so it remains achievable and relevant.
Make an Action Plan
Once you have identified your realistic goals, you need an action plan for how you are going to reach it. This could be an exercise routine, or it could include things like working out four days a week or cutting out junk food from your diet for two weeks (or whatever fits with your specific goal). You could also make weekly goals — set a different goal every week until you reach your target. Write down this action plan and refer back to it regularly so that you stay on track with what needs to be done in order to reach that goal.
Track Your Progress
It can be helpful (and motivating!) to track your progress towards achieving your short-term fitness goals as well as your long-term goals. This could mean using fitness apps to track your progress, jotting down notes about your strength training or heart rate after each workout session, keeping track of how much weight you’re losing, or taking pictures of yourself as you go through the process of reaching that goal; whatever works best for you! Tracking your progress is also key because it allows you to adjust your approach if necessary; if something isn’t working out as planned, then make adjustments and try something else until you find an approach that does work for you!
Celebrate Your Achievements
It’s important not to forget about celebrating successes along the way! Achieving small milestones helps build momentum towards more ambitious objectives and keeps motivation levels sky high. Schedule rewards when particular goals are achieved. These rewards don’t have to be material — they could simply involve taking some time out of your day or week for yourself or spending an evening with friends — but they should always serve as an incentive for completing tasks in order reach longer term objectives.
Now that you’re ready to crush it, here are some fun goals to set!
Here are some examples of short-term goals for fitness, and you can find more on Connie’s list at Develop Good Habits:
- Work out three times a week for a month
- Run a 5k by the end of the month
- Add a lap to your swim
- Become more flexible by joining a yoga class
- Increase upper body strength through a strength training regimen.
Setting short-term fitness goals is a great way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable during the process of getting fit. Make sure that the goals are reasonable and specific, create an action plan tailored towards achieving those goals, and track your progress along the way! By following these steps, you can ensure that those short-term fitness goals become realities before too long!