There’s truth to the old saying, “What gets measured gets done.” When we set specific goals for achievement, and track the results towards reaching those goals, we tend to see much better progress than when making our efforts more aimlessly.
This notion is especially applicable to fitness, where goal setting can have a large impact on staying motivated, continuing regular workouts, and seeing improvement.
Some goals are easily measured. Want to be able to run a 10k? Slowly add distance to your runs until you reach the desired milestone. Want to be able to do 10 pullups? Focused efforts on strength building and tracking your progression will help you get there. Aiming to lose 30 pounds and celebrate a leaner, healthier version of yourself? Keeping a lot of regular exercise sessions and what you eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet, as well as the corresponding movement on the scale can keep you motivated to reach the finish line.
But what if your goals aren’t so easily defined? Maybe body weight, how fast you can run, or how much you can lift just aren’t on the list of priorities for you. Like many people you may be simply more concerned with living a healthy, active lifestyle, and feeling good. This is a wonderful, and sensible attitude to have, but you might be surprised to learn that goal setting may still fit into your approach.
Rather than sticking with the status quo consider the following goals for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone:
- Try one new fitness related activity a month. If you normally work out in the gym try a yoga class. If you’re a longtime runner consider taking a bike ride or swimming laps. Maybe it’s a session with a personal trainer, a dance-fitness class, or trying out a rock climbing gym. Mix it up, keep things interesting, and use some new muscles.
- Establish healthy habits. If you’re happy with your exercise routine and schedule look for other ways to introduce good for you practices to your life. This could be something simple like taking the stairs at the office, taking a walk with your family after dinner, or keeping healthy snacks on hand rather than hitting up the vending machine when that mid afternoon hunger strikes.
- Invite a friend. Spread the love of an active lifestyle by inviting someone to join you for an exercise session and maybe even a healthy meal afterwards. Set a goal of one person a month or a certain number of people by this time next year.
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