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Setting Goals

20 Feb 2008

We all know that once we set our sights on reaching something, we have to set specific, reasonable goals! Exercise is no different. The first thing we need to do to stay on track exercising regularly is to set goals. To set relevant goals, start with answering a few questions. What is motivating you to exercise? Why did you decide to dedicate time, energy, and a lot of effort into working so hard? What state of health and fitness would you like to reach in a few months, six months, a year? Write down the answers to these questions.

Sometimes what got us started exercising is pretty straightforward. We want to be able to climb a flight of stairs without losing our breath, reduce pain in aching joints, recover and be in better shape for a sport we’re playing. Whatever your motivation initially was, keep it in mind when you exercise. Recall it when you feel like skipping out on an exercise session because you’ve had a long and stressful workday or you’re feeling sore from exercising a couple days beforehand. Regardless of the barrier, remember your motivation, adjust the intensity if you need to, and follow through with exercise. You’ll feel better in the long-run and reach your goal as planned. Whatever your incentive was to exercise, dwell on it, and visualize reaching that goal as you exercise. Think of how just twenty minutes of cardio will improve your “wind”—keep you from losing your breath when you have to haul groceries up three flights of stairs. Envision your joints and muscles loosening up, in the long run alleviating pain, as you go for a brisk walk. Look forward to playing longer and harder again after an injury, not having to worry about whether or not you’ll have enough energy for another five minutes of basketball, football, or running—whatever your sport may be.

Goal setting starts with imagining the destination: create the final product in your mind. Setting goals this way will empower you to create and reach towards the change you seek!

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