Long term fitness goals are your big, life-changing ambitions. Add 20 pounds of muscle, increase your bench press by 50 or 100 pounds, or lose 100 pounds of fat. Long term fitness goals are what I think of as goals that take 2 months (or longer) of effort and dedication to complete. They aren’t easy, but boy are they worth it and doable, with the tips below!
Make Your Goal Huge, Intimidating, Inspiring & Something You Really Want
This is the most important part. If your goal is small and ordinary and not really something you really want, it won’t work. It’s not a goal. Why only make your goal to run five miles? How about a 10K, or way better yet, a marathon!
Long term fitness goals are where you pull out all the stops. Pick something that you want to do that teeters on the impossible. If your inspiration doesn’t inspire you, there will be no reason for you to work hard for it. This goes hand in hand with investing your time and energy into your long-term goals.
Invest Time and Energy – Commit!
Commit to your goal with everything you’ve got. Watch out because something strange will happen. You will get more motivated to see it through to the end and complete it! The more you commit, in time and mental energy (and even money) the more of a stake you have in the outcome. The more you will care about it.
For example, in politics, if you don’t know who’s running and don’t care about the issues, you won’t be that happy or sad no matter who wins. Similarly, if you go on a diet but permit yourself lots of cheat meals and indulgences and don’t stick to your plan, you won’t be surprised when you don’t lose weight. You also won’t feel that bad.
But, suppose (with our politics analogy) you campaign for one person, investing time and energy, make calls and care deeply about the issues. You become invested by investing time and energy and are willing to work much harder towards the outcome.
If you commit to your diet and religiously count your calories, eat healthy food, and only permit yourself one indulgent meal a week (and that is strictly regulated), you won’t give up. You will become attached and invested in the outcome, more passionate about it, and even a minor setback (like not losing weight one week) will be just a molehill in your larger successful journey to lose weight. Remember, magic happens when you commit fully!
Measure yourself along the way to your long-term fitness goals. Don’t do the murky, poorly defined and un-measured, “I think I’m progressing… maybe… kinda?” Regularly measure yourself to stay on track. This fitness data about whether you’re moving forward or backward is vital to achieving your long-term fitness goals.
But Don’t Measure Yourself Too Often
Short term goals are good because they keep you focused and on target. But don’t stress over them too much because progress is not linear. Take losing weight as an example. Weighing yourself each morning is a great way to breed angst, insecurity and tension.
Did you lose a half a pound? Gain half a pound? Gain a tenth of a pound? Progress is kind of like the stock market. On any one day, the actual movement of the market is going to be very different from the overall trend that’s going on. Similarly, weighing yourself every day will give you a lot of useless data points and feed your fear that you won’t lose weight. Weigh yourself once a week.
Once a week gives you good data (are your losing or gaining weight?), but is infrequent enough to reflect the overall trend, whether success or failure, of your diet and exercise regimen.
Reward Yourself Along The Way
Reward yourself for the small milestones along the way. As part of your long-term fitness goals, short-term goals (with rewards) should be planned for and should be fun!
Keeping yourself going is a big part of these small goals. Running 10 miles might seem like an imposing goal, but if you reward yourself when you can do 4 miles and then 6 miles, and then 8 miles, and then 10 miles, the overall goal becomes much more manageable.
A Helpful Tip: Never have your reward conflict with your overall goals. If your goal is to lose weight, reward yourself with some fashionable new clothes, a massage, or going to the pool to show off your new body. Don’t eat a huge, unhealthy meal as your payoff.
Don’t Give Up
You only fail when you give up. As long as you keep going, your goal will be accomplished. Fall down seven times but get up eight times. That’s the true secret to attaining your long-term fitness goals.