Whether you’re a long term exerciser or you’re new to the fitness scene, it’s easy to start with good intentions and end up drifting or finding yourself at a loss for motivation after a long time of exercising. Most of us have been there but now it’s time to be resolute with your fitness.
So why set goals when it comes to health and fitness? There is so much research highlighting how effective goal setting can be for improving motivation, focus and confidence.
Types of Goals
There are 3 types of goal:
- Process – Smaller goals which ultimately help you achieve your outcome goal. For example: increase lengths in swimming by 1 extra length per session.
- Performance – The standards you want to achieve. For example: technique enhancement which may ultimately help you achieve your outcome goal.
- Outcome – The main end result you’re aiming towards. For example: lift a certain weight, run 5k without stopping, do a triathlon.
Process + Performance goals = Outcome goal
Be S.M.A.R.T with your goals.
Specific (What is the specific task?)
Measurable (How will you see/measure a difference?)
Achievable (Action orientated - How will I achieve this? What do I need to do to achieve it?
Realistic (Can you achieve this with your current resources/situation?)
Time bound (Realistic but flexible time frame)
Goals need to be specific. Research has found that “do your best” type goals actually lead to a decrease in motivation and a loss of interest in the task.
Goals need to be achievable. It’s all about how you perceive the goal. Is the goal a challenge or a threat to you? Goals perceived as a threat lead to increased stress and eventually avoidance of the goal, whereas goals that are perceived as a challenge lead to increased motivation. Goals seen as a challenge are seen as an opportunity for self-growth with the coping strategies available to you. Bear this in mind when you set your goals!
Start your journey now, whether it’s at the start or on the continuum to self-improvement.
Stay physically active and start preventing cancer!
Hope this helps you get where you want to go,
Zoe Taylor @TayloredMindset
DON'T GIVE UP! DON'T GIVE IN!
Drach-Zahavy, A., & Erez, M. (2002). Challenge versus threat effects on the goal–performance relationship. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88(2), 667-682.
Friedenreich, C. M., Neilson, H. K., & Lynch, B. M. (2010). State of the epidemiological evidence on physical activity and cancer prevention. European journal of cancer, 46(14), 2593-2604.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1985). The application of goal setting to sports. Journal of sport psychology, 7(3), 205-222.
Bryan, J. F., & Locke, E. A. (1974). Goal Setting as a means of increasing Motivation'. Development of Volitional Competence, 51(3), 184.