Learn how to set your weight loss and fitness goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, get healthy, build muscle or excel at a sport, you’ll need specific goals. When you don’t have a specific goal, it’s difficult to keep exercising and to track your progress to see how far you’ve come. Before you get busy, take a moment and ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish with this exercise program?
  • Is my goal realistic and attainable?
  • Do I know how to reach my goal?
  • When do I want to reach my goal?
  • How will I reward myself when I reach my goal?

For example, is it reasonable to want to lose 50 pounds in 6 months? It’s possible, but may not be reasonable unless you eat well and exercise every single day for the next 6 months. Experts recommend that you lose no more than 1-2 pounds per week, but it isn’t likely that you’ll lose 2 pounds every single week and many people find they actually lose about .5 to 1 pound on a good week. For more, check out How to Set Weight Loss Goals.
Keep in mind that:

  • The more weight you lose, the harder it will be to lose weight because the less weight your body has to move around, the less calories it will burn doing so.
  • The closer you get to your goal, the harder it will be to reach it–in fact, you may NEVER reach it (ever talk to someone who’s still trying to lose that last 5 pounds?).
  • The weight you can maintain may not be the weight you want to be.
  • Scale weight isn’t always the best way to track progress. The scale won’t tell you what you’ve lost and/or gained. Be sure to use other tools to track your progress.
  • Weight loss isn’t the only goal you can have and may not even be the most motivating. Giving up the Weight Loss Obsession may be your first step to success.

After you set your goal, find out how to reach it. If you want to lose weight or become better at a sport, you need to do some research to figure out where to start. Browse through these different goals to find out more about getting started:

  • Setting Realistic Fitness Goals
  • How to Lose Fat
  • How to Gain Muscle
  • Training for Sports
  • Getting Healthy

It’s helpful to know what you have to do before you get started. Many people are surprised at the daily effort it takes to reach their goals.
Once you know what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, you’ll need some strategies for sticking with it:

  • Schedule your workouts
  • Set weekly goals and reward yourself each time you succeed
  • Work out with friends or family for added motivation
  • Recommit to your goals every day
  • Be prepared by always having your workout bag with you, bringing your lunch to work, etc.
  • Keep a food and workout journal to stay on track and measure your progress
  • Take your measurements regularly