Goal setting needs to be a part of any fitness program. Goals produce action. Goals create energy and motivation. Goals keep you focused.
Here are seven guidelines for effective goal setting:
1. Goals must be specific.
Many people set goals that are vague such as "I want to lose weight" or "I want to get in shape." Vague goals don't generate results. A goal has to be specific enough so you know exactly what you're striving for. "I will lose 20 pounds of body fat in three months" or "I will run a 10K race in six months" are examples of specific goals.
2. Goals must be measurable.
You have to be able to determine whether or not you're making progress toward a goal and when you've achieved a goal.
3. Goals must be challenging but also attainable.
Many people set goals that are unrealistic and then give up on their fitness program when they become discouraged or frustrated. Goals must be challenging but also attainable. If you're new to fitness, set moderately challenging goals. You can always set more ambitious goals if you reach your goals earlier than expected.
4. Goals must have time frames.
A time frame creates a sense of urgency and keeps you focused on a goal. Divide goals into long-term and short-term goals. A long-term goal should cover three to twelve months and should be a goal that really motivates you - something that's out of reach at the moment but can be accomplished eventually. A short-term goal should cover one week to one month and should be a goal that keeps you motivated and lets you know if you're moving in the right direction.
5. Goals must have emotion tied to them.
Determining the reason why you want to achieve a goal and why that's important to you adds emotion to a goal, and the more emotion you have the more motivated you'll be. Getting emotionally involved with a goal also impresses it deeper into your subconscious mind, and whatever idea is fixed in your subconscious mind will always express itself in behavior.
6. Goals must be written down.
A written goal brings clarity and focus and gives you a direction. A written goal is also a powerful reminder that you can use to keep yourself on track. Start each written goal with "I" in order to make the goal more personal and empowering. Write goals in the positive, not the negative. Focus on what you hope to achieve, not what you want to leave behind.
7. Goals must be read on a regular basis.
Regularly reading a goal impresses it deeper into your subconscious mind. As mentioned previously, whatever idea is fixed in your subconscious mind will always express itself in behavior.
As you can see, effective goal setting does not have to be difficult or complicated. Anyone can create a strong set of goals by following some basic guidelines.
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