Essential Questions When Setting Your Fitness Goals
When I talk about fitness goals with my clients, I’m not as worried about them committing to their goal as I am about what that goal means to them.Just like setting a New Year’s Resolution, it doesn’t improve your life if it comes from a sh!t place.
Here are two questions I want you to ask yourself, I mean really get introspective about it, before you set a wellness goal. Oh, and I don’t just mean your big goals of running a half marathon or getting a 6-pack. I also mean those constant goals you have, like running a certain number of miles every week or going to your 6am bootcamp 4 days a week.
Who is this goal for?
Your knee-jerk reaction is probably, “Me, duh!” But think deeper. I say this because when I was coaching marathon runners, I saw a lot of people sign up because their friends were.
I also know a lot of women in college, even in full grown adulthood, who after a breakup, want to lose weight or lean out to “make him jealous”.
There’s actually a lot of reasons people set a physical goal that have nothing to do with them.
An easy way to determine this is to think , if no one knew you had set this goal, if no one would see your progress, would you still care if you hit it?
How will I feel if I don’t hit my goal?
Fitness goals should motivate and empower you. But, they can also quickly become a form of obsession and unhappiness.
Picture what you’ll feel like if you don’t fully reach your goal. Will you be able to recognize and be proud of what you did accomplish, or is it all-or-nothing, hit the goal or nothing counts?
Here’s a personal story that illustrates what I mean:
Years ago I trained the hardest I’d ever trained to hit a lofty half-marathon time goal (1:35). I pushed myself for 3 months and when race day approached I felt myself getting more anxious.
The day before the race I kept picturing how I’d feel if I didn’t hit it. What if I was a minute slower than my goal? I realized literally no one else would care. My family, my friends, even my runner friends, would congratulate me on pushing myself and putting it all out there.
The pressure I felt came from me and I could change my perspective. I thought back to the 3 months of training and recognized all the ways my running improved, both physically and mentally. I hit paces I hadn’t hit before, I was stronger, and had some long runs in the Chicago snow that I still remember years later.
Being able to see the whole journey of working towards a goal as a success is crucial for exercise freedom, because if you can’t do that, you’re highly susceptible to becoming obsessed.
Are you having fun in your life as you work towards your goal? I don’t want your happiness to depend on a yes or no. Did I hit this goal or not? For physical goals to be empowering, there are multiple ways to measure your success.
I offer free 30 minute Mindset Jump Start calls where you will leave with a few small goals to work on, and get clarity on your biggest worry right now!