Today I’m sharing some tips and tricks on how to set fitness goals.

With all of the New Year’s resolutions and 2019 goal setting going on right now, I thought that I would share how I set my own fitness goals. It can be tough enough to actually achieve them, but making clear, specific goals that are actually attainable can make all the difference.

Don’t go overboard.

I know that it can be tempting to want to change all of the things right now, – go to the gym 5 times a week, overhaul you diet, and sleep 3 additional hours each night. Trying to tackle all those things at once can be really overwhelming though, and as a result, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.

If you currently don’t go to the gym at all, aim for 2 workouts per week and then increase from there once you’ve been able to do that for a few weeks. Add veggies to every meal instead of completely changing everything that you eat. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier at night, and as you make that a consistent thing after 3 or 4 weeks, make bed time another 30 minutes earlier.

Be specific.

Setting a goal of “getting in shape” doesn’t mean much and doesn’t give you very much accountability. It’s open to interpretation. However, a goal of “3 45 minute cardio workouts and 2 strength training workouts – 1 upper body and 1 lower body per week” is much more specific and it’s very clear whether you achieved it or not.

Know your why.

Achieving your goals can be hard when your willpower is waning. Knowing your why behind why your goals can make all the difference. Are you training for a 10K? Keep you race day in mind when your alarm goes off at 6 am and you want to stay in bed rather than go for a run.

Recruit help.

Swapping unhealthy habits for healthy ones can be tough when you’re not sure where to start. Get help instead of trying to do it all on your own. Want to improve your diet? Hire a registered dietitian to give you advice. Hire a personal trainer to meet your deadlift goals. Getting advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about can make all the difference.

Join a running group if you’re training for a half marathon. Plan weekly gym dates with a friend to ensure that you get to the gym. Knowing that someone is waiting for you at the gym or with your running group can be just the motivation that you need to get out the door.

Be realistic.

If you haven’t strayed far from the couch in the last 5 years, you’re probably not going to be running a half marathon in a month. In fact, if you tried I’d be willing to bet that you’d injure yourself and you’d be turned off from exercise.

It’s good to have goals that push you out of your comfort zone, but they also have to be realistic and doable. It never feels good to fail at achieving a goal, even if it’s an unrealistic one. Make sure that the goals that you’re working towards are realistic.

Break your goals down into smaller steps.

Big goals can be intimidating. Breaking them down into smaller steps make them seem less scary and big. You’ll gain momentum with each mini goal that you achieve. Setting deadlines for each of these smaller goals also ensures that you’ll achieve your goal in time. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, setting a weight loss goal of 1 pound per week makes it much more manageable.

Have you set any healthy living goals for 2019? Share them in the comments below.

How to Set Fitness Goals