How to Pick Fitness Goals that Work for You

Description: How do you pick fitness goals? There are many ways you can decide on your targets. From working out for the good looks to training for endurance, you can set different goals and achieve them with consistency and discipline.

Setting health and fitness goals is important for several reasons. First, goals hold you accountable, expand your definition of what’s possible, and motivate you to push through discomfort for longer-lasting change. However, to pick fitness goals that are realistic, can feel like a difficult process as it may require part science and part art.

Like searching for the best short-term loans, you need to research and understand what would work for you. What do you do after attaining your goals? Should you set the bar higher or start a new journey? Here is how you can pick fitness goals for the short and long-term.

Focus on a Goal at a Time

When it comes to setting short-term fitness goals, one of the mistakes people make is working on many things simultaneously. Working on many things clutters your schedule, so you end up exhausted and unable to follow up. Trying to tackle too much is setting yourself up to fail. You want to be able to complete one goal and pick the next idea. Fitness is a journey that involves a series of steps.

Fitness goals for beginners will differ from those meant for people in advanced levels. Each individual should embrace a plan that addresses their problems and helps them move from one level to another successfully. This is not possible if you’re trying to accomplish things you should do later. Pick a thing you want to crush, like completing your first 5k or doing 30 pull-ups.

Be Inspired by Your Dreams

It’s easy to scroll through Instagram and search for fitness goals examples or get inspired by the images of fit users. Basing goals on the things you see others do is neither practical nor productive. You need to make the program your own and celebrate after beating your own milestones.

When you’re bombarded by images of fit people, you might trigger yourself to try and replicate how they look. This locks you in a cycle where you'll be fighting to become someone else. Some things top athletes can do, like 100 push-ups, may be ideal for them, but not for someone starting out on a fitness journey. Their story will always sound nice but don't base your expectations on that. Make the journey specific to you. Your goals should be your goals.

Make it Time-Bound, Specific, and Measurable

Working with measurable goals helps you to track your progress. More specific goals translate to a clearer path. For example, smart fitness goals like wanting to be stronger offer a great place to start, but what should this mean? You may want to do more push-ups per minute, so you’ll make it a specific number.

Besides that, the goal should be time-bound. This helps you focus, develop a structured plan, and creates a sense of urgency that will motivate you. Some examples of measurable time-bound goals include deadlifting 10 reps of 50 pounds in two months or performing pull-ups before the start of the summer.

Set the Bar Low, at First

Considering attainable goals, you need to make it relatively easy. If it feels easy, you probably have overcome mental obstacles and need to elevate the tempo slightly. However, if the routine kills your motivation, it could mean trying out a different approach to ensure you don’t run out of gas. On a confidence scale, your belief should sit at 9 out of 10. If you’re less confident, you’re less likely to adhere to the steps you need to make things happen.

Besides, attainable goals help you start out with wins, which boosts your confidence. If you achieve more success with your fitness journey, you’ll stick with it. Having success early on will help you build confidence that will snowball into long-term results.

Think Long Term

Instant results are sweet, but for more impact, you should play the long game. Be realistic with the time frame of your list of fitness goals. Lasting change takes a while, so have the patience to build on your goals. You will never make an overhaul in a matter of one week. Pick a goal that you can achieve in the course of a few months to a year. Having a long-term mentality helps you see your goals as a lifestyle instead of a quick fix, so you’ll be more likely to stick to those goals.

Understand What Drives Your Goal

In some cases, your goals may be driven by insecurities, underlying dear, or body image issues. You may want to run a marathon because someone bullied you in the gym class. While being motivated by something is important, underlying issues like fear and self-esteem issues could cause make your journey more painful. First, address those issues and don’t assume you can clear them by achieving your fitness goals.

Add Micro Goals on Your Way

On the way to achieving bigger goals, you could add micro goals. These are smaller confidence-building goals you can achieve in a shorter period. For example, you want to run a mile in nine minutes, say on a treadmill. In your training, make a micro goal like running half a mile in four minutes. Those little victories are what will propel you to hit larger milestones.


Achieving your fitness goals involves finding the perfect formula. Don’t base your goals on the people you see on social media. Rather, consider what you want to achieve and where you want to be after a specific period. Structure your routine to include both short-term and long-term fitness goals.

How do you ensure the success of your fitness goals? Share ideas in the comments below.

Guest Author Bio: Jade is a finance analyst and has been involved in many successful business projects with a range of companies throughout the country. She started writing 3 years ago and enjoys researching, discussing, and writing on the topics of finances, budgeting, money advice, lifestyle and wellness.

Jade loves to spend time with her family and has a lot of hobbies including hiking, riding a bike, cooking and traveling.

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