Starting a new sport, starting a fitness program, or picking up sport again after a long break can be tough. Setting the right fitness goals is essential when it comes to staying motivated and going the distance.
Setting goals that are too tough, or too easy can cause your motivation to drop. Picking the wrong sport to get involved in, or starting for the wrong reasons can also have an impact on your enjoyment of exercise.
Set your fitness goals for your own personal reasons and you will be on the right path. Here are some tips on how to, or not to set your fitness goals.
1.Don’t Fall Victim to New Years Resolutions
With January out of the way the talk of new year’s resolutions will fade. As every year there is a hype around the goals for the new year and many are overly ambitious and get forgotten.
Let me tell you a secret…
You can set your fitness goals any time of year!
Setting your fitness goals because it is a particular time of year and you may have over indulged over the holiday period is probably one of the worst reasons to set a goal.
Why? Come February you will be bored of it and you will move on to the next next great idea and it probably won’t be getting fit.
If you are using the annual hype to get your training going, great. But make it about more than a buzz. Set your realistic personal goals and be ready to go the distance.
2.Don’t Listen to Your Loudest Friends!
I love running. Any yes, I have a habit of talking too much about it. I am sure you have friends like me and they have an ability to talk you into ’their’ sport. Before you know it you will be out buying running shoes and starting to run. Only to discover that you hate it!
By all means this may not be the story for everyone. What is important is that if you do want to improve your healthy lifestyle, and you want your new sport to have some longevity, pick a sport you will enjoy. This is the only way to make it last.
Don’t be ‘pushed’ into a particular sport by that friend who can’t stop talking about it. Having said that, if you do want to try running here are a few tips that will help you get started.
3.Be Ambitious, But Not Over Ambitious
Be Ambitious. But don’t over do it.
Why? It’s easy to be over enthusiastic before you start. We’ve all been there. Especially if you used to run. It’s easy to think back to past performance an think it will all come back as soon as you start.
“tomorrow I’m going to start running. I will go for an easy 5k”
Next day: breathing heavy and suffering after 1k. “I hate Running”
And so the running story ends.
Set goals that are challenging, start small and build up to your goal.
4. Don’t Exercise by Chance.
One of the wonders of the internet is that you can find almost anything. So use the resources available to build a structured plan. Doing so will enable you to achieve the following:
- Build up your strength and stamina in a structured way
- Plan your training which helps you stay committed and make it fun
- Track your progress and celebrate your milestones to stay motivated
If you are thinking of starting your fitness plan, but are unsure where to start, check out these great tips to help get you going…
The 8-Week Beginner Running Program from The Runners Blueprint
Beginner Workouts: The Best Workout Routines For Beginners from A Workout Routine
5 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners from Best Health Mag
5. Dont Set Fitness Goals for Anyone But Yourself
Your one and only reason for training and taking on an exercise challenge should be you!
Whilst external influence may serve a great purpose in getting you started, they may not be there to keep you going when the going gets tough.
Know your own purpose, your own reasons and motivations and make them personal. This is what you will fall back on when you need to dig deep.
Jeroen is a keen runner and triathlete. With over 10 years of experience training and participating in races, simply for the joy of sport he has turned to sharing his experience through the articles he writes. As a founder at Loop Social Sport Jeroen has focused his passion on creating a community of like minded individuals who not only train together but also motivate newcomers to take up sport, whether in person or via this blog.