Your short-term fitness goals are extremely important. Shooting for a major life or body change is hard, but if you break it up into small, manageable steps, it becomes much easier.
Make It Specific
Just like larger goals, short-term fitness goals are worse than useless if you don’t make them specific. “I want to lose some weight,” is not a goal. It’s a hope and a dream.
Make sure you have a goal that can be measured, and make it extremely specific so you can and will measure it. “I want to lose 5 pounds,” “I want to be able to run 5 miles,” or, “I want to lower my body fat percentage to 12%,” are much better short-term fitness goals. If it’s specific, you can see whether you’re progressing toward it.
3 Weeks To A Month
Try to set small goals that you can measure regularly. Short enough amounts of time that you can check your progress, but not so close together that you get bogged down in tracking yourself.
I find 3 week long or monthly goals to be the right amount of time. That gives me enough of a period to make substantial changes, but it’s also short enough to hold my feet to the fire. That combo of stress and tracking, keeps me focused.
Making It Realistic – and NOT!
Make your goal something you can do but also something that gets your blood boiling! This is more in the realm of long-term fitness goals, but you need to make your goal something that you really want to achieve!
Losing 5 pounds is a good goal, but what do you want to look like? Really? If you were to let your imagination run wild, what would your perfect body look like? Your short-term goal might be something achievable, but it should be a stepping stone towards a goal that is so big, intimidating, amazing and awe inspiring that you want to work incredibly, death-defyingly hard to make it a reality!
If You Miss The Goal, Don’t Sweat It
Actually, it doesn’t matter much if you miss your short-term fitness goals. What? How can I say this heretical nonsense!
If you’ve been working toward a goal and you fall short after 3-4 weeks, look at your routine and evaluate what you did wrong. What can you do differently to get different results? What can you do more of (or less of)?
Rarely, is the path to a really worthwhile goal direct and smooth. Treat your short-term fitness goals as chances to learn and get feedback. Since the only time you’re beaten is when you give up.
I do not have enough space here to tell you about the number of short-term goals I have failed to meet. Lowering my body fat percentage so low that my abs stand out prominently, building a business, practicing Japanese swordsmanship, and increasing the amount of weight that I can squat, are just a few short-term goals I have set for myself. All of them took more effort than I originally thought. More stepping stones than I thought they should take. They weren’t easy but I didn’t give up.
Treat your short-term fitness goals as check-in points to keep you on track. Nothing more, nothing less.