Your Fitness Goals Need To Be Personally Set

Setting Fitness Goals That Work

SETTING FITNESS GOALS . . . Setting fitness goals can be frustrating.

Yet it is VITAL to your success if you want to get in shape. And as a martial artist I can tell you that there is no way around it.

If you’re not setting and measuring your goals then you are going nowhere as far as fitness is concerned.

So how do you go about setting fitness goals? The strategy I am going to share with you will not only serve you in getting the body that you want, but it can be applied to any area of your life as well.

Step 1: Find your desire.

Most of the goal setting material that I’ve read tells you to start by writing down anything you’d like to do, have, or be. This is meant to really pump you up and get you excited. And it does…for a time.

As a guy if I just start writing fitness goals like “Bench Press 500lbs. and win a bodybuilding contest” I might feel hyped up in the moment and ready to ‘conquer my future’, but am I really committed to that kind of goal? Does it really inspire me? Probably not.

I would suggest you pay more attention to what you TRULY desire as you sit down to write your goals. First, ask yourself why you’re doing all this in the first place. Do you miss being able to play more freely with your kids? Perhaps a goal to be able to play football with your son for a half hour is a worthy desire.

Whatever the goals are that you choose, write at least one paragraph as to WHY you want to achieve that goal. How will it benefit you? What are the long-term results of accomplishing that goal?

This is where you’ll really start to connect to your goal. This is what makes the difference between those who give up after the initial excitement of their dreams and those who stay committed to their passions.

Warning: Many people have scaled the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall. So do the research to make sure that the goals you’ve set will really help you to fulfill your desire.

For instance, going anorexic is NOT a good weight loss program and will NOT result in you feeling healthier. Also, be sure to evaluate your goals periodically to make sure that they are realistic and that they are still bringing you closer to your desires (the WHY’S behind achieving them).

Step 2: Reality Check.

Dream big and you might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish. But dream TOO big and your subconscious mind will only laugh at you and make you throw in the towel.

One of my friends is really good at the game HALO. And every time we play he destroys me. It’s not even fun for me anymore. After the first couple times he kills me I don’t want play because there’s no point. I don’t feel challenged, I feel overwhelmed.

Don’t let this happen to you in your fitness or life goals. Ask yourself if you are being realistic about your goals. You want to find the balance between challenging and overwhelming. As your confidence in yourself grows you can always re-establish your goals.

Step 3: Set up a support system.

This means strategize. Figure out what you can do to make success easier and failure harder. I suggest you write down at least 3 situations that you find most challenging and then (with or without the help of a friend) create a plan of action to deal with those situations when they arise.

To illustrate, I’ve been focusing more on my diet lately. I quickly learned that unless I had a fully stocked fridge of healthy food choices I was fighting an uphill battle when mealtime came. So what do I do now? I keep my fridge ready at all times with several healthy options.

Many people find that a support group, friend, or accountability partner can be immensely helpful. I also prefer to read books related to my goals, as it keeps me more focused and excited about them. There are a number of ways to keep yourself inspired as you work to accomplish your goals. Feel free to share some more ways in the comments section of this article.

Finally, seriously consider hiring a personal trainer.

As a fitness coach myself I can tell you, there is a lot more science behind reaching your fitness goals than you can get from just reading a book. And a trainer knows how to get results because he (hopefully) has gotten them for others many many times.


by Sifu Forrest Caudill

Forrest is a certified instructor in two martial arts and runs the Austin Impact Jeet Kune Do school in Austin, Texas. For more resources and information check out his website at

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