When you first embark on your fitness journey your fitness goals might be fairly simple. For example, “toning up”, losing weight, increasing your cardio, or “getting healthy.” But having specific, long term fitness goals will help you stay motivated to stay consistent.
Long term fitness goals are anything you want to achieve that will likely take longer than five or six months. Anything shorter than that is considered a short term goal.
Short-term goal: “I’d like to be able to do a pull up by the end of the year.”
Long-term goal: “By this time next year, I’d like to be able to do 5 pull-ups.”
If you’re thinking “Gee, six months feels long-term to me!”
Remember this: lasting change takes time.
So, what are the best ways to set and achieve your long term fitness goals?
All you have to do is be SMART and consistent! It’s an acronym–you’ll see what I mean in a moment!
The SMART method is a simple acronym used for ensuring you crush your goals.
What’s the acronym? Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Don’t worry I’m going to break each of those down for you. Let’s dive in!
The first thing to keep in mind when setting any goal (long term or short term) is to ensure the goal is clear and defined.
For example, instead of “I’d like to eat healthier,” a specific goal would be, “I’m going to eat two more servings of vegetables per day.”
Specificity guarantees that we know exactly where we are headed which is imperative in mapping out a plan to get there.
Make sure your goal is Measurable
This part is important because it is much easier to stay motivated when we can see our progress. That’s why it’s important to find a way to track your progress.
For example: logging the weights you are lifting or timing your runs.
When you track your progress it’s not only easier to see your progress, but learn what is and isn’t working on your quest toward your goals!
Ensure your goal is Attainable
Make sure the goal your setting is realistically attainable within the set time frame.
For example, it is unlikely that a person who cannot do one pull up could train hard enough to do 10 within a month. But they might be able to do so within a year.
No one performs well when they are set up to fail. Setting unattainable goals not only increases the odds that we’ll give up, but it diminishes the likelihood that we will set new goals. Setting and attaining goals and intentions is how we build trust with ourselves. It deepens your self-confidence because you know you’ll show up for yourself.
Your long term fitness goal should be Relevant
In work, in life, in dance, and in fitness it is incredibly important to understand your “why.” Maybe you want to increase your mobility for an upcoming audition. Or it can be as simple as you wanting to feel more powerful. However, no matter what the goal, there has to be a reason it is important to you. If not, giving up becomes much, much, easier.
Make it Timely
Whatever your long term fitness goal is, it must have a deadline. Having a clear deadline for your goal keeps you on task and focused. Even tiny steps toward your goal are better than no steps. Having a timeline forces you to stay consistent.
Write your Goal Down
Studies have shown that writing down your goals makes you 33% more likely to achieving them than you would be if you only set your goals in your head. Once you write down your goal, put it somewhere you can see, to remind yourself of what your goal is and why you want to achieve it!
And just like that you have 6 tips to ensure you achieve those long term fitness goals that have been eluding you for too long!
What goals do you have your sights set on? Have you tried applying the SMART method to them? If not, I challenge you to choose one goal and break it down this way. Who knows what will happen when you map out exactly how and when you will accomplish your goals!
Still having a hard time achieving your long-term fitness goals or not even sure which goal to start with? Consider joining our Embodied Artist Academy and gain the bonus of accountability with a personal trainer!