Realistic Approach to Setting Health and Fitness Goals

Realistic Approach to Setting Health and Fitness Goals

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What's unique about health and fitness goals is that they never end. In short, if your goal is to enjoy excellent health, have abundant energy, and enjoy life as long as possible, then the process is underway and will never be complete. As we age, the variety and intensity may change, but the goal will always be the same.

However, we can set ourselves mini-goals that we need to achieve within a certain time frame. For example, you may need to lose 30 pounds. While this fits into the bigger picture of achieving your health and fitness goal, setting a weight loss goal is certainly a goal in itself and should be considered a separate goal. It can be seen as a stepping stone towards achieving and maintaining the health and fitness goals we have set for ourselves.

While being healthy and fit may seem like an easy set of goals—eating your five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly—has its challenges. While we intuitively know that a nutritious diet and consistent exercise routine are essential to a healthy lifestyle, and our intentions try to match that idea, within a short period of time this regimen begins to fail and is ultimately discarded. What went wrong?

Perhaps the health and fitness goals we set for ourselves are not realistic or achievable. While setting your goals is essential to keeping you motivated and on track, trying to succeed at an unrealistic goal will only hinder the process and take you off track from your real goal. Discouragement sets in and the drive to move forward is lost. We can no longer imagine achieving our goals and finally we give up.

What is your goal to achieve your goals?

To be truly committed to your goals, they must be simple, worthy, and achievable. Too often, we fail to achieve a goal because it is too vague or unrealistic. Instead of saying that I want to lose weight before the high school reunion, you can be more specific by saying, "I want to lose 30 pounds by the time of the reunion. If I start now and lose two pounds a week by following my careful diet and exercise, I will have lost 30 kilos and I will look and feel good in my reunion.” This is a worthy goal that is purposeful and achievable and will inspire the motivation to lose weight.

Make a list of what you specifically want to accomplish by setting your goals. How will you benefit from reaching your health and fitness goals? Are your goals within a reasonable timeframe to make them achievable? Be realistic about the amount of time you can spend on your goal. And most importantly, keep your fitness level in mind so you can accurately factor it into the equation.

Set health and fitness goals that are realistic

Now that you've defined your goals, you can begin the process by taking realistic steps to get there. Establishing a schedule is essential. For example, if you set an impractical goal of losing 50 pounds a month, chances are you won't reach that goal. That boiling down to losing five pounds a month with exercise and diet is more achievable and easier to put into practice. By consciously avoiding failure, you won't feel defeated and are more likely to stay on track.

It's important to realize that achieving a health and fitness goal is an obligation that requires a willingness to accept when we're not "in the mood." There will be days when you have to force yourself to run or turn your back on that gooey fudge, so be prepared that making certain sacrifices is part of the process of achieving your goal. In any case, recognize their achievements. Treat each sacrifice as a milestone of progress rather than a loss.

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