We’re back! And there’s no better topic to discuss when you’re starting up again than the topic of SETTING GOALS. It’s always good to have goals for your diet and exercise. Having goals is an important part of getting started and staying on track. It’s the first thing that I’ll establish with a client when they ask to train with me. Over time I’ve found that there are more effective ways to set goals that will yield more success than others. Here are some of my recommendations for doing that:

Start small.

Set small goals that are realistic and attainable. Similar to habit-building, smaller changes are easier for people to achieve than really big ones. Setting up ambitious goals isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes people set themselves up for more than they can handle and the result feels like failure. It’s much easier for someone to feel unmotivated or to give up if they’re feeling overwhelmed about what they have to achieve to reach an unattainable goal. You can always set a long-term goal and then have short-term milestones to hit along the way to the big one. It’ll keep you focused and motivated to see small successes, especially in the beginning.

Make it realistic.

First of all, when setting goals, remember to be honest with yourself and know what’s realistic for you and what isn’t. What’s your diet like? Are you a morning-workout person, or an evening-working person? If you’re the type of person who seriously struggles to get up early enough to go for a 30-minute run in the morning, then try to set your schedule so that you have time to run in the evening instead. I know it sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people make this mistake.

Another aspect to being realistic when setting goals is to understand that sometimes, it takes more time to see certain progress. Just because it took you 2 months to 20 pounds in the beginning doesn’t mean you’ll continue to lose weight at that speed. The more weight you lose, the harder it will be to lose more weight, so set your goals accordingly.

Make it measurable.

Having a goal that you can measure or track makes it easier to stay focused. The more specific you can get, the better. Whether it’s wanting to be 160 pounds by December or you want to be able to run a marathon in 12 weeks, it’s much more effective to have specific goals than to say, “I want to get skinny” or “I want to get stronger.” Having a “deadline” for your goal will also keep you motivated to stay focused and set a more structured plan to achieve your goal.

Another benefit of setting measurable goals is that it’ll motivate you to track progress along the way. It could be a scale, a step-counter, tracking what weights you’re lifting, etc., but it’ll give you something to compare. Added bonus is that you have something to look back on and be proud of what you’ve accomplished later on!

As the New Year starts to creep up on us, try to keep these things in mind. I mean, at Trifecta, we highly recommend that you start setting your goals today! (But if you feel like you really need goals for the New Year, we got you too.) You can make every day a step closer to reaching your goals! That’s why we like to say, make tomorrow your today.