There’s a lot of talk of goal setting when it comes to exercise and it’s completely right that knowing what you want to achieve is important. But let’s face it, who hasn’t set goals at one time or another? Many people set targets at least once per year (usually in January) and just weeks later they’ve got totally off course. So let’s take a look at what people who actually hit their fitness goals do to make it happen.
- They know their goals
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
People who hit their fitness goals know where they want to end up. They’re able to visualize achieving the results they want and have these in mind when they’re training. They either write their goals down, tell the world about them, or both.
- They know why they want to achieve their goals
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn
It’s not enough to know WHAT you want. People who meet their goals know WHY they’re willing to work hard to achieve them. They have a specific reason for doing what they do which drives them forward and keeps them motivated.
- They make a realistic plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
People who achieve their fitness ambitions are able to create a realistic set of strategies for achieving their fitness goals. They set the bar high, but not so high that they aren’t able to reach it. Small successes to them are still worth celebrating. They will also have smaller intermediate goals to help them along the way.
- They leverage accountability
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey
People who hit their fitness goals also use public accountability to keep them on track. They aren’t afraid to post about their goals and progress on social media. They use accountability to sidestep excuses and work hard even when they don’t feel like it.
- They act
“An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.” – Steve Maraboli.
All the planning in the world means nothing without action. If you have a goal, and a plan to achieve it, then now is the time to put the plan down and take action. Sure, review the plan and adjust, but make sure you are acting on the plan. Remember, you will be judged on what you do, not what you say you are going to do.
- They consider their goals when making choices in daily life
“There are three constants in life… change, choice, and principles.” – Stephen Covey
Achieving a fitness goal requires more than just going to the gym or having the occasional good meal. It requires a change of lifestyle involving discipline and focusing on your goals even when you aren’t working out. People who achieve their fitness goals will consciously consider whether the choices they make will affect their fitness. They know eating certain foods won’t give them the energy they need for tomorrow’s workout, or that staying up late might make them too tired to exercise the next day. In short, everything is geared towards achieving their desired outcome.
- They are consistent
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle.
Making changes to your fitness and achieving your goals comes from a consistent effort on a daily and weekly basis. People who achieve their goals are consistent with their workouts from week to week. They don’t skip days or give up because it’s too hard or they aren’t performing at their best. They create a schedule and they stick to it. But they don’t expect to always be perfect…
- They ditch perfectionism
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi.
These are wise words from one of the best American football coaches of all time. Nothing is perfect and this is true of fitness. You will never have the perfect diet, the perfect fitness regime, or the perfect results, and people who meet their fitness goals understand this. They see perfectionism as an obstacle that fuels excuses and gets in the way of making good progress. They focus on results, not whether every workout is the best it has ever been.
- They track and monitor their progress
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele
Making changes to your physical capabilities is a marathon and not a sprint and those who monitor progression are much more likely to stay focused when times get hard. You may have to wait a few weeks before you notice major changes, but by tracking small changes on a session-by-session basis, you’ll see the small incremental improvements that are great fuel to keep going.
- They believe they can achieve their goals
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Self-belief is a major part of achieving success in any area of life, and people who hit their fitness goals do so because they believe they can. Self-doubt can cripple you if you allow it to take control but those who achieve crush self-doubt, procrastination, and poor confidence by pushing through negative thoughts about themselves and their goals. They believe the work they’re doing matters, and that it is and will continue to make a difference in their lives. The key point to remember is don’t think, just do.