Are you ready to set your 2017 fitness goals?
January 1st is the time that most people start setting their New Year’s resolution. Many of them involve losing weight, getting healthier, and eating better. Statistics show that 64% of individuals who created resolutions were still making a valid effort at the end of January, but six months later the number drops to only 44% of people. Will you be one of the 56% who will fail?
Goal setting is important in life and sports and fitness. Goal setting is a strategic approach to behavioural change by which progressive standards of success are set in an attempt to achieve a desired level of achievement increasingly. For example, a person may make their 2017 fitness goal to complete ten pull-ups successfully.
Types of Goals
There are three types of goals that you can make:
Process goals are goals that you have a high degree of personal control over. For example, the amount of effort you apply during a workout is a type of process goal.
Outcome goals are goals that you have little control over. Outcome goals are exemplified by social comparison as in winning or in beating an opponent in a race. Outcome goals are ideal for people who are competitive, but outcome goals are less likely to achieve.
Performance goals are harder to achieve than process goals. They are typically based on a self-referenced personal performance standard for a person rather than trying to beat an opponent. For example, you may want to break the 20-minute mark in your next 5k.
How to Set Your 2017 Fitness Goals
You should set both long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals provide a strategy to achieve your long-term goal. A long-term goal should be a meaningful pursuit for you. Your short-term goals should be effective yet challenging and have about a 50% chance of success. A short-term goal that is meaningless or too easy will lead you to go through the motions instead of investing real effort and time into reaching your goal.
When setting your goals keep in mind the following:
(also known as SMART)
Let’s look at an example. Jan is a mildly active woman who weighs 100 kg. She wants to lose 10% of her bodyweight. Ten percent of her body weight is 10 kg. Working with her personal trainer, Jan made a practical long term goal and workout plan. Her goal is to lose 10 kg in six months. The goal is realistic in that it is healthy to lose about 0.25-1 kg a week. Jill should lose 10 kg in 20 weeks, but she decided to give herself an extra four weeks in case she has a bad week or two. Jill and her trainer also created several process goals, such as replacing her regular Diet Coke with a large glass of water and keeping a positive attitude when working with her trainer.