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Realistic Approach to Setting Health and Fitness Goals

What is unique about health and fitness goals is they are never-ending. In the whole scheme of things, if your goal is to enjoy excellent health, possess an abundance of energy and live life to the fullest for the longest possible time, the process is ongoing and will never be complete. As we get older, the variation and intensity may change, but the goal will always be the same.

We can, however, set mini-goals for ourselves to accomplish within a certain timeframe. For example, maybe you need to lose 30 pounds. While this fits into the big picture of achieving your health and fitness objective, setting a goal for losing weight is certainly a target within itself and should be treated as an independent goal. It could be considered a stepping stone toward achieving and maintaining the health and fitness goals we set for ourselves.

While being healthy and fit may seem like an easy set of goals to achieve-eat your five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, exercise on a regular basis-it does have its challenges. Although we intuitively know that a nutritious diet and a consistent exercise routine are essential for a healthy lifestyle and our intentions try to match that notion, within a short period of time, this regimen begins to falter and eventually it is kicked to the curb. What went wrong?

Perhaps the health and fitness goals we are setting for ourselves are not realistic and attainable. While setting your goals is essential for keeping you motivated and staying on track, trying to succeed at an unrealistic goal will only hinder the process and deter you from your real purpose. Discouragement sets in and the drive to move forward becomes lost. We can no longer envision ourselves obtaining our goals and we finally give up.

What is Your Objective for Reaching Your Goals?

In order to be truly committed to your goals, they must be straightforward, worthy and achievable. We too often fail at following through with a goal because it is simply too vague or unrealistic. Instead of saying I want to lose weight before my high school reunion, be more specific by saying, "I want to lose 30 pounds by the time of my reunion. If I start now and lose two pounds a week by watching my diet and exercising, I will have lost the 30 pounds and will look and feel good at my reunion." This is a worthy goal with purpose as well as achievable and will inspire motivation to lose the weight.

Make a list of what you specifically want to accomplish from your goal setting. How will you benefit from obtaining your health and fitness goals? Are your goals within a reasonable timeframe to make them achievable? Be realistic about the amount of time you can devote to your goal. And very importantly, realize your fitness level so you can accurately figure that into the equation.

Setting Health and Fitness Goals That are Realistic

Now that you have defined your goals, you can begin the process by setting realistic steps to get you there. Establishing a timeline is essential. For example, if you set an impractical objective of losing 50 pounds in a month, you will most likely fail to reach that goal. Breaking that down to losing five pounds in a month with exercise and diet is more attainable and easier to put into reality. By consciously preventing failures, you will not feel defeated and are more likely to stay on track.

It is important to realize that achieving any health and fitness goal is a commitment which requires a willingness to accept when we are not "in the mood." There will be days when you might have to force yourself to go on that run or turn your back on that gooey hot fudge sundae, so be prepared to recognize that making certain sacrifices is part of the process of reaching your goal. By all means, acknowledge your accomplishments. Treat each sacrifice as a milestone of progress rather than a loss.

Setting health and fitness goals are important in life and give you something to constantly work towards as you go through life. A fit and toned body, feeling energetic and maintaining a desirable weight is the constant reward when we make a commitment to health and fitness.

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