Goal Setting

How do you set fitness goals? Do you start with weight loss? Is it about strength or endurance? What’s the best way?


To be honest, I haven’t a clue. If I had the answer, I’d write a book, get a TV show and get rich. All I know is what has worked for me in the past, what is working for me now and that without a destination in mind, there’s no way to map a journey.

The trick to goal setting is to set lots of milestones that are achievable and work towards the longer-term goal. For example, lets say you want to lose 22kg (or about 50lbs) that’s a very difficult thing to get your head around. But setting a goal to lose 2kg per month is achievable.

The same goes with running or some other aerobic activity. Being able to run for 30 minutes could be daunting but running for a minute might be more realistic if you’re coming from a base of inactivity.

When I set my goals, back at the start of this year, I combined the two. I had a combination of weight loss and endurance goals. My running goal was to complete a Couch to 5k program in the allotted time. However, I was focussed on running for 30 minutes rather than 5km. The 30 minute 5km prize still eludes me.

For weight loss, I set myself a long term goal to reach my target “one day”. The only target is to be a little lighter at the start of each week. There’s no self-imposed pressure to hit a target – as long as there’s progress I’m not too worried about the pace.

Back about a decade ago, when I was quite fit, I set two goals; a target weight and to run a half-marathon. The trouble was that when I hit them, my training completely lost momentum. My goals are now about long-term activity and lifestyle.

How do you set goals?

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