Setting An Exercise Goal

26 July 2021

Struggling to find the motivation to exercise? Setting yourself a goal could be one sure way to stay motivated. Goals help to give us direction and allow us to record our progress. Ideally, an exercise goal needs to be quantifiable. Wanting to ‘lose weight’ is too vague - you need to consider exactly how much weight you want to lose. Below are a few different forms of exercise goals.

Set a weight goal

The most common exercise goal is a weight goal. This could involve losing a specific number of pounds or kilograms in a specific amount of time.

You should be reasonable about exactly how much weight you can lose. A good starter goal is 5% or 10% of your body weight.

On top of having one big long-term goal, consider setting multiple micro-goals along the way. There’s usually no point in weighing yourself any more than once per week (some may even argue once per month).

Fit into those jeans

When it comes to losing weight, another popular exercise goal is aiming to fit into a specific pair of jeans or a dress by a certain date. Some people even set the goal of slimming into a wedding dress.

You could also consider using body measurements as goals. This could include aiming for a specific waist size or a specific thigh size. You may be able to measure yourself every week to monitor your progress. Just make sure that you measure from the exact same place each time.

Create performance goals

Some people prefer to aim for performance goals. This could include aiming to lift a specific weight, aiming to run a specific distance or aiming to do a certain amount of reps in a certain amount of time.

You can slowly work your way up over time and record your progress. Certain apps and machines may be able to digitally track your performance - this could include counting steps or recording distance on a rowing machine. This then allows you to try and beat your record.

Some apps even allow you to compete against friends. You can view their performance stats and try to beat them next time you have a workout.

Train for an event

Another exercise goal could be to train for an event such as a marathon, a mountain climb, a boxing match or a weightlifting competition. The possibility of earning a medal or certificate could help to spur you on to train. Some people even set themselves multiple events throughout the year such as multiple sponsored runs.

When training for an event, it could be worth looking into specialist trainers to help motivate you such as these Summit Strength trainers that specialise in hiking and mountain climbing. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting in the right type of training to perform well at your event. This could include meeting certain milestones.

Make sure that you’re serious about any event that you set as a goal. It could be worth paying a deposit up front so that you aren’t tempted to pull out nearer the time.

Get your hours in

An alternative exercise goal could be to simply get a certain amount of gym hours per week. You could even set yourself a monthly gym time goal or a yearly gym time goal (such as 100 hours).

Just be sure that these hours are actually spent exercising. The problem with this type of goal is that you can set yourself a challenge of 20 hours of gym in a month but spend most of it in the gym sauna.

There are apps that you can use to track your time. Make sure to set your timer when you start your exercise and end it when you end your exercise so that you’re not counting time taking breaks or time getting changed.

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