With the beginning of the Fall season starting, many of us like to make a new start and embrace the world around us more fully. This often includes setting new health and fitness goals.  However, these goals don’t do any good if they aren’t achievable because they will quickly fall to the wayside. So how can we be more successful in our goal-setting especially when it comes to something as challenging as physical fitness? Here’s some tips:

    1. Be Specific and Measurable- if a goal is vague it’s usually not as motivating as something specific. For example, having a goal to run a 5k by a particular date is a specific goal you can work towards and know when you have finished said goal. You also have a distance that is part of the goal making it measurable and easy to gauge whether you are improving from week-to-week.
    2. Make it Enjoyable- Speaking of the above mentioned 5k, if you hate running don’t set a goal to run more. You’ll only make yourself miserable. I love to swim so my goals usually involve some kind of swimming. If you love zumba classes set a goal to attend classes twice a week or maybe take a class to become an instructor. Whatever brings you joy make that part of your goal.
    3. Set Short and Long Goals- Having a big vision for the future can be motivating but it can also be discouraging if it seems like it is never going to happen. A mixture of both long-term and short-term goals are ideal. For example, I may have a goal to run a marathon, and that can be motivating, but perhaps this week I can have a goal of completing a 2 mile run successfully. Each little step along the way deserves celebration and makes the final victory all the more exciting when it does eventually happen.
    4. Make it Achievable- Working with your doctor and other support individuals make sure your goals are achievable for you and your body. You will only be discouraged if you set a goal that is impossible or nearly-impossible for you to achieve.