If you’re setting foot in a gym, then you recognize you’re ready to make a change. But what should that change be, and how will you know it when you get there?
Just like the rest of your life, you shouldn’t get started at the gym without figuring out your goals. You want to lower the number on the scale, or get a little stronger – fine. But often that isn’t enough. Here are a few steps you can take to craft, follow and meet your fitness goals.
First, GET STARTED. Don’t wait for a sign from above or a green light. Just go. The impulse to get healthy and fit is all the sign you need. You know what they say: the best time to start isn’t “some day.” It’s today. Grab a pencil and some scratch paper and figure this thing out right. Now.
Then WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU WANT. Maybe you have weight goals, maybe you want muscle mass, but that can’t be all that you’re after. And if it is, make that the first checkbox, not the last. What do you want to do with your life? This is the core of fitness goal-setting.
MAKE YOUR GOALS REAL. That means you need to be able to measure them and write them down – weighing yourself, testing body fat, or testing your endurance. Keeping a journal of diet, workouts, and so on will help you chart the course of your success. And “success” means setting healthy goals that are realistic and achievable. Push yourself, but don’t set yourself up to fail. And finally: set some deadlines. Make them real. And stick to them.
Then ACKNOWLEDGE THE STRUGGLE. Everyone’s made excuses about skipping the gym. Figure out the things that have been holding you back up until now – weaknesses, circumstantial life barriers, time management skills – and figure out how to address them. You need to know what gets in the way of your fitness goals so you can adapt and defeat them.
You’ve seen it online, and it’s a good idea. Be sure to MAKE YOUR GOALS PUBLIC as a form of holding yourself accountable to them. What’s more, the positive influences in your life will encourage you and give you the energy to keep going when hitting your workout goals seems impossible. And if you have any doubters? File that away for gloating when you do hit your fitness goals.
And finally, TAKE CONCRETE ACTION EVERY DAY. What can you do today – right now – to move you just one inch closer to your goals? And tomorrow? And the day after? There’s always something, and you can always start somewhere. Don’t give up on yourself OR your fitness goals, and soon enough you’ll find you can meet – and surpass – anything you set out to achieve.