Setting Exercise Goals

Before you jump right into your home workouts, you’ll need to set some exercise goals.  Identifying your goals is an important part of a successful home workout plan.  Whether you want to increase muscle mass, Setting Exercise Goalslose weight or lower your cholesterol level, your workouts must be structured to match your goals.

 

Exercise goals must meet certain criteria for you to have any chance of accomplishing them.  Each exercise goal you set needs to be:

 

• Specific

• Realistic

• Measurable

• Time Sensitive

 

For example, let’s use “weight loss” as the main goal.  Simply saying that you want to “lose weight” is not a specific goal.  How much weight do you want to lose?  Deciding that you want to lose 30 lbs gives you a concrete number to work with.  Remember:  Not being specific with your fitness goal makes it very difficult to determine if you’re on target to meet it.

 

Let’s keep rolling with the long term goal of losing 30 lbs.  Is it a realistic goal?  Yes, if you allow enough time.  The average person can expect to lose about 1-2 lbs per week with the right diet and exercise plan.  Knowing that, is it realistic to lose 30 lbs by July 4th if you start your home workout program on June 1st of Setting Exercise Goals 2the same year?  Of course not!  That’s a perfect example of an unrealistic goal that will set you up to fail every time.

 

Is the goal of wanting to lose 30 lbs measurable?  Sure it is – you just need a scale to measure your progress.  You can now understand how futile it would be trying to gauge any level of progress when you set non-specific goals such as: “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit.”  If your goal isn’t measurable, you most likely won’t meet it.

 

Is the long term weight loss goal of 30 lbs time-sensitive?  No, not yet – you need to set a deadline.  You want your deadline to be challenging but realistic. Let’s set it at 20 weeks (1.5 lbs per week).  Now that there’s a timeline, you can set short term goals.  In this case, your short term goal would be to lose about 3 lbs every 2 weeks or 6 lbs every month.  Setting and meeting short term goals tend to make long term goals seem much less overwhelming, and provide great motivation to stick with your home workout plan for the long haul.

 

There you go.  The long term exercise goal of wanting to lose 30 lbs in 20 weeks makes the grade!  It’s specific, realistic, measurable and time-sensitive.  There’s enough information to set short term goals, allowing you to reach your long term goal in considerably more manageable chunks of time.

 

Be sure to follow this formula when setting all your fitness goals. You’ll have a much better chance of succeeding if you do!

 

I hope that helps,

Paul

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  1. Staying Motivated for Your Home Workouts | The Home Workout Guy - September 10, 2013

    […] same goes for the actual fitness goals you’re looking to reach.  When setting exercise goals (see post), make sure they’re achievable so you don’t become discouraged.  Trust me – setting out […]

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