Goal setting

Oct 28, 2016

Whether it’s education, career, or fitness, people who are successful at anything in life set realistic and meaningful goals for themselves. Goal setting gives our lives greater focus and direction. By having a long-term goal, we create a vision for the future. Before you begin any fitness or training program, it’s important to identify your reasons for starting.

Long-Term Goals

Some people begin a fitness or training program, for example, to become healthier and fitter, others to improve their appearance, while others start training to challenge themselves. Long-term goals like these often take months and even years to achieve, which is why you need to define specific end points that are meaningful for you. These indicators will tell you when you have accomplished what you set out to do.

What are YOUR reasons are for starting a fitness/training program?

Short-Term Goals

Short term goals such as “I want to complete the entire workout session” or “I want to maintain a positive attitude towards my activity” are achieved in days, weeks and months, and act as stepping stones towards your ultimate achievement. Without these, a long-term goal can be problematic – maintaining focus, enthusiasm and a positive attitude over the course of several months and years can be extremely difficult. Short-term goals have focused objectives that provide the motivation we need to make it to the finish line.

Try to outline some action goals each week as you progress through your schedule.

Shifting Habits

Changing any habit, big or small, is no easy task. Whether you’re trying to change your eating habits or attempting to exercise regularly, you need the right tools and a good dose of determination to replace old habits with new, more positive ones.

While gradual, experts in the field suggest that there are five common stages of change that describe how people alter behaviour or acquire a new more positive routine. Researchers refer to what’s called the transtheoretical model of change to describe the common stages people pass through on the path to shifting habits:

  1. Pre-contemplation: At this time there is little or no desire for change. A person may not even recognize that there’s an issue.
  2. Contemplation: At this stage, people are aware of a problem and are giving serious consideration to change. In other words, they’ve started to take responsibility for the habit or pattern.
  3. Preparation: This is the point where individuals are getting ready to take action. They have decided to address the problem.
  4. Action: During this stage, people are altering their behaviour and environment in order to take the plunge. They are taking action.
  5. Maintenance: People are working to avoid slipping back into their old patterns. Significant changes have been made.