Updated: Dec 11, 2018
Follow these 7 steps to set fitness goals that are realistic, fit in around your life and that make you excited! You can also download the Goal Setting Toolkit below.
I’ve included a transcript of the video so that you can sit and work throught the process at your own time. Let me know if you have any questions!
Hi. My name is Maryke and today I’m going to help you set exercise or fitness goals that are achievable and actually make you excited!
But first, a bit about myself. I qualified as a physiotherapist in 2003 and I’ve since specialised in sport. You can check out my full résumé on my website. If you’re watching this video on YouTube, you can find the link to my website in the comments below.
I’m also a health coach and I have a passion for helping people live life to the full!
A health coach is a little bit like a sport’s coach in that I help you achieve your goals. But at the same time my approach is VERY different.
For example, I don’t decide what you should do or be – you get to define your own goals so that they are realistic and things that you really want to achieve!
The end result is that you leave with an action plan that is realistic, easily fits in with your life and that you actually want to do!
I’m going to run you through a shortened version of this process today. It won’t provide you with the same quality of results as a one-to-one coaching session, but you’ll leave with some actionable steps that will immediately take you one step closer to you ultimate health goal.
Feel free to send me a message through my website or social media if you have any questions.
As mentioned before, today’s topic is: How to nail your fitness goals.
In my experience, the biggest mistake that people make when trying to make lifestyle changes is that they attempt to achieve their goals within a couple of weeks. Instead of giving small easy steps that fit into their lives, they try to give giant leaps and often set themselves unrealistic tasks that only adds stress to their lives.
I’ve broken the goal setting and planning process into 7 steps.
Step 1: Suspend that little negative voice in your head.
We all have a little voice that likes to reel off all the reasons why we can’t do this or aren’t able to do that. It is really important for this exercise to tell that little voice to just shut up for a while.
Don’t worry about HOW you’re going to achieve the goals that you set. My job is to help you figure that bit out. So every time you start thinking “I can’t do that” or “I don’t know how I’ll achieve this”, just tell yourself that it doesn’t matter at this moment – we’ll figure the details out later.
Step 2: Grab a pen and paper.
It really helps you to think when you write stuff down and you may find that things can look a lot less overwhelming once written down. I’ve also created a goal setting toolkit that you can use for this which you can download from my website.
Step 3: Score your current situation out of 10.
Today’s topic is about exercise or physical activity. So when you think about your current level of exercise or how active you currently are during the day, what score would you give yourself out of 10? Zero means that you are extremely far from where you want to be and ten means that you are 100% happy with your current activity levels (in which case I’m not sure that you need to watch this video).
Step 4: Define your 10 out of 10 or your ultimate fitness goal.
What would make you 100% happy? In Steven Covey’s words – “You have to start with the end in mind”. Or in my words, in order to achieve your goals, you need to know what you’re aiming to achieve. The following questions can help you to define it.
When you have achieved your perfect level of activity or fitness:
What are you doing?
What are you feeling?
What are you hearing?
What are you seeing?
What are other people saying?
List at least 3 things that define your 10/10.
Now write these 3 things down in one sentence, as if you’ve already achieved it, starting with “I am…”
Example: “I am feeling fit and healthy and able to play football with my kids.” or “I am running the London marathon in a time of 4 hours and feeling great.”
Make sure that this is truly something that you want. This goal has to be something that you want for yourself – not what someone else thinks you should do.
What are the benefits of achieving this goal?
What would happen if you do nothing and don’t achieve it? How would that make you feel?
You won’t put the work in that is needed to achieve your goals if it’s not something that you really want.
Step 5: Set a deadline
When would you like to achieve your 10/10 by? Make sure that this time frame is realistic. If you are currently very unfit, it’s not realistic to expect to be able to run a marathon by next week.
Step 6: Discover possibilities
When generating options, I really need you to suspend that little negative voice we spoke about in step 1. In this section I want you to think of all the possible things that you could do to take yourself just one step closer to achieving your ultimate goal.
These are not necessarily things that you are going to do, so don’t filter them by trying to think of only realistic options. The key to opening your mind and thinking outside the box is to write down anything and everything that comes into your mind.
This is where a coach can really help you to realise what obstacles (imagined and real) are blocking your progress and to find ways around them.
A coach can also help you generate ideas that you’d never would have considered otherwise. I can’t replicate this process in a video as my questions have to be appropriate to your life and specific circumstances but here are some generic questions that may help you to think more freely:
What is the easiest thing that you could do to move yourself just one step closer to achieving your fitness goal?
What else? (Keep asking this until you can’t think of anything else – then move on to the next question.)
What exercise or activities have you always wanted to try, but not had the time or confidence to try?
If you had all the time in the world? What would you do?
Who could you ask to help you with this?
If you had a friend who is in the same situation, what would you advise them to do?
Step 7: Decide on actions
Look at the list of things that you’ve written down. Which of those are you really not going to do? Cross them out.
Which are the easiest to do? Which ones are you most excited about doing?
Choose the one action from the list that you feel that you could take in the next 2 weeks, that will move you just one step closer to your ultimate goal.
How will you do it?
When are you going to do it? Write down the date and time that you are going to do it.
How will you remember to do it?
What can stop you from doing it? How can you overcome this?
On a scale of 0 to 10, how committed are you to doing it? If you score it below 7, you may have to decide on a different action or look at the reasons why you’re not committed.
Are there any other options that you’ve written down that you would like to take in the next 2 weeks? If so, apply the same process to them. If not, that is absolutely fine. The aim is to make the process of habit change as simple and easy as possible and not to overwhelm yourself with a long list of things to do.
I would suggest that you revisit this process every 2 weeks. Look at what you’ve achieved in that time and look at what you can add or what you’ve got to do differently in the future to keep moving yourself closer to your goal. Please let me know how you get on!
If you find that you just keep coming up with the same old options or that you are constantly not completing the actions that you set yourself, I may be able to help. You are welcome to email me through the website to discuss how health coaching can help you.