Goals should fit your needs, abilities and personality.
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Short-term goals can help you stay motivated to reach a long-term goal like losing 10 pounds, reducing your waist circumference by two inches or adding strength training to your life. Short-term goals should be small steps that help you achieve a larger lifestyle change over time. One way to create short-term goals is to follow the SMART technique by making each goal specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Specific short-term and long-term fitness goals can help you attain your goals better than vague goals like deciding you want to be healthier. An example of a specific short-term goal is to add a 20-minute aerobic exercise session to your schedule this week instead of simply saying that you're going to exercise this week. Another goal could be to prepare for starting your long-term exercise program by discussing it with a health professional or purchasing any equipment you might need for it.
Make It Measurable
Your goals should be measurable so that you know if you are meeting them or not. You can measure them however it works for you, whether it is subjective, objective or both. For example, if you have a short-term goal to reduce your waist circumference by 1/2 inch by a certain date, you could objectively measure it by checking your waist circumference with a tape measure or subjectively measure it by seeing if your pants fit better.
Avoid the Impossible
Make your goals attainable so that you can succeed with your fitness program. If they are too easy, you might get bored and if they are too hard, you might give up altogether because you can't reach them. An attainable short-term goal could be to add two 30-minute exercise sessions to your weekly schedule instead of starting out trying to exercise for two hours a day or 30 minutes every day of the week. If your initial goals aren't working for you, change them to make them attainable.
Fit Your Life
You will only reach goals if they are relevant to your own life. You need to have the desire and ability to reach goals if you are going to achieve them. Therefore, don't make running a marathon your goal if you hate running; instead, choose an activity you enjoy and can stick to. In addition, a short-term goal should be relevant to the long-term goal. For example, if your long-term goal is to run a race, a short-term goal should involve an activity that will prepare you for it, such as walking or jogging rather than swimming.
Pick a Time
It will motivate you to stick to your goals if you make them time-bound. Your long-term goal might be to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. A healthy amount of weight loss is 1/2 to 2 pounds each week, so you can make it your short-term goal to lose about 1 pound per week. Nonetheless, give yourself some leeway so you don't get discouraged. For example, you will be more likely to reach a goal of losing 1/2 to 2 pounds in a week rather than losing exactly 1 pound each week.