Guidelines for When Setting Health and Fitness Goals
I have set countless health goals for myself over the years, and find great joy in pursuing them. If you do not know what you want to achieve in terms of health, how will you know what to research and what changes to make for it to become a reality?
Perhaps you want to lose weight first. Or maybe you were diagnosed with diabetes or some other condition or illness that can be greatly improved by improving your diet and lifestyle. A better quality of life, not feeling ill, and being able to move around freely and have energy is very motivating.
It doesn’t matter what your motivations are, but for most people, it will include improving body composition, because we all want to be attractive and to feel desirable. If looking good naked is driving you, that is perfectly okay.
Do Not Try to Change too Much at Once
We recommend writing down a list of health and fitness goals, but then not focusing on too many at once. You want to only try and have a maximum of three goals at a time, because we tend to get overwhelmed when we set too many goals for ourselves.
You can start, for example, by reducing your intake of obvious sugars like doughnuts and the sugar that you add to your coffee, and then when you become used to that and it becomes easy, then you can start checking all of the labels and eliminating foods where one of the first three ingredients that are listed is some sort of sugar like fructose, sucrose, or glucose.
This is because they list ingredients in order of quantity, and then when you are used to that, you can move up to the first five ingredients or you can do what my husband, Jonathan, does and avoid foods that have more than 10% sugar. You can just see if it has more than ten grammes of sugar per hundred, and then you can avoid eating it.
Or, you can look at the the amount of sugar that you want to consume in a day. For men, I think the recommendation is roughly 37g of sugar and for women, it is 25g. Then you can negotiate with yourself and say: “Ok, this has 10g of sugar per serving, and I am willing to have 10g. That is about half of my sugar for the day, but it is worth it.”
However you want to approach reducing your sugar intake, just take it one step at a time. If you make ten changes over three to six months, your health and fitness could be completely different, but writing the goals down and defining what you want to achieve is the first step.
If your goal is to improve your fitness performance, then you know where to start: by working out more, but also allowing yourself to rest, so that you can recover properly and perform better next time.
Perhaps your dream is to become stronger, and then your daily goal might be to do strength training and to rest on Sundays. You just focus on taking it one day at a time and becoming healthier one day at a time. Daily goals help you to not get overwhelmed easily. When you achieve them, you can feel really proud of yourself, and you can get quite a rush out of.
If your goal is to stop snacking and maybe to start only eating two meals a day, which is my health and fitness goal currently, you can build up to it.
That sounds easy, but for me, it is a struggle, because I tend to have snaccidents, so I have a hard time when I have to resist food sometimes, but luckily, I tend to stick to healthy foods 95% of the time, but struggle with volume.
At least, if you only eat three meals a day and don’t snack, then you reduce the amount of opportunities you have in a day to overeat. Over time, that will become the new normal, which is something to get excited about, but if you know what you are working towards and what your health goals are, it becomes a lot easier to achieve and even if your goals change over time, you will still be a lot closer to optimal health and fitness than you were before.
Visualise and Write Down Your Fitness and Wellness Goals
Having a plan and clear goals will help you feel less uncertain and will help you feel more positive about the possibility of you actually reaching your goals. When you set health and fitness goals and hopefully write them down, which I highly recommend you do, then you can also look at them objectively and start mapping out a plan to help you achieve them. Like I said, how will you know what you want to achieve if you do not declare it and define it clearly?
Dreaming and visualising can be very powerful. Why settle for where you are now? Sit and think about how you can become an even better version of yourself. How can you become the superhuman version of you? If health and fitness are big parts of that, then transforming your health and fitness can be some of the most exciting things that you will ever achieve.
And it starts with setting goals, and then you focus on daily goals. Set long-term goals, and then medium-term goals and short-term goals. Then plan out how you think you should act to get there. You break down the bigger goals until you have it broken down into daily goals.
Don’t Get too Attached
Do not get too attached to what you think you should do, as you learn more along the way and will learn more about what is actually needed in order to achieve the goal.
These are just a few helpful things I learned about setting goals for your health and fitness. If you are new to this, you may have found it quite helpful, and hopefully it can help you to achieve your wellness and fitness goals.