How to set goals and stick to them

Achieving your fitness goals can be hard. It’s always a fight between mind over matter. We’ve collected some tips to help you set and maintain your fitness goals once you adopt these easy techniques.

Make a plan

Start at the top with your ultimate goal. Is it to build strength, improve mobility or improve your BMI? Any reasonable fitness goal is fine! Now, make sure it’s SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. The only goal you can ever achieve is a SMART one. Once you have your goal, break it into the steps it will take to get there.

These are your goalposts, you’ll know you’re getting closer as you pass each one. Say your goal is to reduce your BMI by 5%, your first steps might be:

1. Get a gym membership by August 1st

2. Hire a personal trainer by August 5th

3. Get a BMI check by August 6th

4. Begin training twice per week on August 10th

5. Get a one-month BMI check on September 10th, if lost 2% BMI, reward self with new gym kit.

You can see how this list will go on until you achieve your goal with measurable points each step along the way.

Set reminders

If you have trouble keeping track of all your personal goals, a calendar app on your phone could make this much easier. When you set your goals, set reminders in your phone for each step and related appointment or deadline. You can even set alarms to create specific times you know you should be working on your next goal post.

Get accountable

If you keep skipping appointments you set for yourself related to your goals, it’s time to recruit an accountability buddy. They could train with you, if you both share the same goals or you could let them know what you’re struggling to commit to and they could remind you to give you that extra push. It’s a lot harder to disappoint others than ourselves. If you tell someone you’re going to go to the gym twice a week, why it’s so important that you do and what your goals are… it will be a lot harder to skip that next notification, knowing they’re going to ask about your progress.

Track your progress

Remember to build in regular touch points where you check to see how you’re doing. You may find your original goals were not realistic or too easy when you first drafted them. If you find you’re not progressing as quickly as you like, it may be that your expectations were too high or you didn’t break the goals into small enough steps. It’s okay to revise and reactivate your goals depending on how you’re progressing.

Reward the little wins

As to tick off milestones on your step list, reward yourself with healthy treats. This could include new gym clothing, holidays or other things you like. That way you’ll enjoy the journey as much as the destination which is important for maintaining motivation. If you have to wait until you get to the end before you feel the benefits of your hard work, it’s going to be an uphill battle staying motivated.

Repeat when complete

You’ve achieved your fitness goal! That’s great! However, there’s always more you could be improving on. Once you reach one goal, start the process again and find your next focus area. By continuously improving yourself, you’ll have greater overall life satisfaction.

Read more stories from the Audley Club health, fitness and wellbeing team.