• Monday, July 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Writing a better fitness goal

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The five most common resolutions last year were lose weight, get organized, spend less while saving more, enjoy life to the fullest and stay fit and healthy. While these are all admirable intentions, whether they are achievable depends on the individual. According to several studies, those who write down their goals, review them regularly and share them with friends are more likely to find success.

If you’re resolving to improve your fitness this year, and are struggling to get started, consider the following tips for writing a better goal.

Set your fears aside. It’s important to dream about the future. However, if you do nothing but dream, you’ll never get anywhere. Decide what you want to do and then set aside your fear of failure. All too often, we allow feelings of fear to keep us from moving forward.

Make it specific. The more specific your goal, the more detailed a plan you can create to achieve it. For example, don’t resolve to “become a better runner.” Instead, think about what “better” means to you. Maybe it means reducing your one-mile time. Perhaps it means increasing your total distance. Your training approach will differ depending on the goal.

Make it attainable. Choose a goal that you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. Once you reach it, you can always set another. For example, if you’re a new runner, don’t resolve to “run a 10-minute mile.” Instead, try “running non-stop for 30 minutes,” followed by “increase my non-stop running minutes.”

Break it down. While making a big goal can be motivating, it can also feel daunting. Break your big goal down into mini goals and it will become less so. For example, if your goal for the year is to “lose 100 pounds,” you can instead resolve to “lose 15 pounds each month.” You’ll earn a sense of accomplishment each time you hit a mini goal and maintain your motivation as you approach your 100-pound target.

Write it down. When you record your goal on paper, you turn a dream into a possibility. Many people find it helpful to stick that paper someplace where you will see it every day. Having a consistent reminder—like “run for 30 minutes every morning” on your bathroom mirror—can keep you focused on whatever you’re trying to accomplish.

Share it with friends. Tell your friends and family about your goal. Recruit a few of them to check in with you regularly (perhaps every week or every month) to ask about your progress. While we may sometimes disappoint ourselves, most of us are reluctant to disappoint our loved ones. That reluctance can keep you motivated to work towards your goal.

Kwavi Agbeyegbe