GOAL SETTING & LONG-LASTING RESULTS

Do you approach your fitness goals with a feeling of pressure or stress? Perhaps you haven’t reached for your goals for fear of failure. You may have benefited from short-term results in the past, but what happened after you reached your target? Without the development of long-term, healthy habits, most people slowly back pedal to their old ways until the need to see results resurfaces again.  

If your personal goal leaves you overwhelmed, we’ve got some tips and strategies to help you build a healthy future you can enjoy. Let’s explore how you can positively approach your goals and get the results you are looking for.

fitness goals can be overwhelming man with too many goals
Finding a way to reach your goals can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. We are here for you.

Quick Results Don’t Build Healthy Life Habits

After trying and failing to get ‘quick’ results, we learn that healthy habit-building is vital to producing positive and lasting results. Enjoy the process! Build your health and exercise routine slowly and make it personal. Engage with the process and become invested in your health goals. Using the help of your personal trainer, you can create stepping-stones to a successful positive and habit worthy lifestyle.

trainer and a client, setting your fitness goals client and a trainer
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” goes the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, and how true it is, especially when it comes to your fitness goals. We're here to help you with the planning and exercise.

Get Curious About Your Fitness Goals

Your initial thought may be that you would like to lose 15 pounds, but when you look deeper and get curious about your thoughts, you realize your personal goal is much more than just shedding some extra weight. You will find your ‘big enough’ reason to set a successful fitness goal. 

A focus group conducted by BMC Public Health found: When individuals feel connected to their fitness goals on a personal and relatable level, they are more likely to engage in physical activity, persist through setbacks and maintain their health goals. (See Full Focus Group Findings)

Your reasons are personal and may include: more energy to play with the kids; pick up your grandchildren with ease; or spend more time gardening without pain. Knowing your big ‘why’ will build the foundation you need to set yourself up for success. 

After completing a successful goal strategy with a big enough reason to succeed, it’s time to let that result live in the future. Find success throughout the process and turn your focus to the journey itself. By focusing on creating your personal health habits, you can reach your goals and build long-term results.

Small Changes Are the Key to Fitness Success

We often believe we need to make drastic lifestyle changes in order to have a result, but small changes add up. 

Make small shifts in your daily routine to help you stay motivated. Changing up your environment by going outside for a short walk, or moving to a different room in your house to workout can help stimulate you and get you excited about your future health plans. 

By setting your fitness goals and knowing your big reason for getting healthier, you are already on the path to greater success.

Break Your Big Fitness Goal Into Smaller Goals

Once you have your big goal identified, you can break it down into smaller, achievable chunks to help you build healthy habits and ultimately reach your bigger goal. Release the overwhelm and focus on the smaller goals you set out for yourself.

Celebrate the wins and look forward to your next ‘small’ goal. Reinforce your progress by rewarding yourself regularly.

Building a New Habit Takes Time

When learning a new skill or developing a new habit, it takes time to master it. Imagine enrolling in University and wondering why you don’t have your degree after the first semester. It seems unrealistic to expect results immediately. But we can hold our personal health goals to a different, unachievable standard which can often set us up for failure before we even get started. 

The choices you make today will build the ‘future you’. When you are getting started with the process, allow yourself to question your current habits.

Before partaking in an old habit you’d like to shake, ask yourself, ‘Does this serve the future me?’. Be aware of your current habits and consciously decide if they fit in with your new lifestyle. Find out more about building healthy habits.

habit tracker fitness trainer
This is our easy to use Habit Tracker. Download and print it, and claim your new habits now.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

You may experience days where you’re ‘all in’ and ready to reach your fitness goals, but prepare for failures. You’re going to have some days where you just rather sit on the couch and eat potato chips (or something else that doesn’t serve you) and that’s okay. Don’t worry about those days.

Everyone experiences setbacks. You have created a strong enough reason to continue achieving your goals. Taking a day off or eating something unhealthy isn’t the end of the world. You can make a different choice tomorrow. Smaller goal setting is forgiving, and you can rebound from an ‘off’ day without turning your back on your bigger goal.

linear chart as it relates to goal achievement when virtually personal training
It would be great if our results looked just like this graph, but the truth is progress is not always linear.

Enjoy the Immediate Benefits of Physical Activity

When we don’t see physical results immediately, we can quickly see the emotional benefits.

You may be interested in a healthier lifestyle to see physical changes in your body, but regular physical activity has many other benefits. Once you start on the path to a healthier lifestyle, you will benefit sooner than you think. 

Your fitness journey will come with some significant improvements you can look forward to right now. 

The Canadian Psychological Association suggests exercise can start improving other areas of your life including: 

  1. Prevent depression and anxiety 
  2. Reduce day-to-day stress 
  3. Reduce the cognitive decline among middle-aged individuals (memory & attention)
  4. Reduce Fatigue and enjoy a better sleep 
  5. Boost self-esteem 
  6. Increase focus

Keep a Fitness Journal

Write your intentions down to ensure your fitness goals don’t get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day life. Be accountable to yourself so your goals aren’t forgotten when ‘something comes up’. 

If you enjoy the process, you may begin tracking your food intake, exercise accomplishments, emotions and more. Check in with yourself and share what you’d like to with your personal trainer so they can give you tools to overcome any obstacles you may be facing.

nielsen fitness training journal
Setting your goals in writing, and tracking your progress is an important action we recommend to all of our clients.

Let’s Talk About Your Personal Fitness Goals

At Nielsen Fitness, we are invested in helping you develop healthy habits for a lifetime.

Break your fitness goals into manageable chunks to release the overwhelm and develop strong healthy habits. Don’t worry if you slip up from time to time. By creating small, manageable fitness goals, you can stay motivated and get the results you are looking for while building new habits and creating a lifelong, healthy lifestyle. Count on your personal trainer to help you along the path to reach your fitness goals and have fun in the process!

Book a free live virtual workout with Nielsen Fitness today. Click here to reserve your spot on our calendar. 

References:

BMC: Rethinking physical activity communication: using focus groups to understand women’s goals, values, and beliefs to improve public health: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-017-4361-1 

Canadian Psychological Association – “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Physical Activity, Mental Health and Motivation: https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Publications/FactSheets/PsychologyWorksFactSheet_PhysicalActivity_MentalHealth_Motivation.pdf