Fitness goals are a great way to challenge yourself; you are your only competition, after all. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or add muscle, you need a goal to work toward.
Here are some tips for setting goals you’ll be able to achieve:
1. Set a time frame for your goals—otherwise, it might feel like your quest goes on forever.
2. Make your goals realistic. If your focus is weight loss, give yourself a 3-month deadline for dropping a reasonable amount of weight (an average of 1-2 pounds per week). Once you’ve hit the 3-month mark, re-assess and then set a new goal for the next 3 months.
3. Don’t just focus on the scale. Start your plan by taking measurements and getting a body fat assessment at your gym. Even if your goal is a specific number on the scale, these other numbers matter just as much, if not more.
4. Make sure you’re doing your part in the gym as well as in the kitchen. Schedule 5-6 days of cardio workouts and 2-3 days of weight training, which will help strengthen and add fat-burning muscle. (If you’re already doing this and aren’t seeing the results you want, maybe it’s time to hire a qualified trainer who can help you get to the next level.)
5. If you’re looking to reshape your body by adding muscle and losing fat, start with a 1-month goal. Plan on at least 4 days a week of weight training and give yourself time to strengthen your muscles and learn new exercises. Then set your next monthly goal.
No matter what your fitness level may be, always challenge yourself to achieve new goals. This way, you’ll always have something to strive for—and to keep your workouts interesting!
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.