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Goal setting and why it's important

We all have different goals in our lives and exercising should be no different. Let's discuss why goal setting is so important in helping you reach your goals.

What is a goal? A goal is something we set ourselves acting as a target. These goals could either be short term and may be within reach from anywhere from 24 hours up to a few months, or they could be long term and could take over a year to reach. It's very important in the world of fitness to have both these types of goals to help keep you on the right track.


Progression is the number 1 key aspect when it comes to any form of fitness. Whether you are trying to hit a new PB in the gym, run a longer distance or even become more flexible, you will need to continuously progress overtime to get better at whatever it is you're training for. The way in which goal setting plays such a pivotal part in this is how it enables you to monitor this progress. Let's say for example you are aiming to hit a new PB on your squat, maybe your current 1 rep max is 100kg and you've always dreamt of squatting 200kg. That's fantastic but let's face it, you're a long way off yet which is why you should be setting 200kg as your long term goal. A great way of monitoring your progress as you work your way towards that would be by setting smaller short term goals. You could start off by simply saying your first short term goal would be to plan out a squat specific training program as this can be done straight away, next you could start setting a weight goal to hit in 1 months time such as +10kg. From there you could keep setting new, short term goals of new weights to hit every month or so as you work your way up to your long term goal of that 200kg squat.


We've all been there, training aimlessly for ages and ages and not really feeling like we're getting anywhere and this can have a huge impact on levels of motivation and can really be the deciding factor on what the next step is going to be. Goal setting is the perfect way of offsetting this. Let's use an example again to demonstrate this point, take someone that's desperate to put on muscle mass. Noticing progression when it comes to your body composition goals can be very tricky as you see yourself every single day in the mirror and changes are very small that more often than not, to yourself, it doesn't look like much is happening. If this person goes straight into training without setting any goals then they may look back in a couple of months time and be quite disappointed. What this person should do before even touching a weight is set themselves some goals. Again a long term goal would be fantastic to set, in this case it should be certain measurements of body parts they're trying to grow, or maybe a long term weight target they're trying to reach, even a shirt size they want to fill out. All these long term goals should be set over a year from now, what's important for motivation are the short term goals. These should be small increases in size and weight that are realistic to be able to achieve in a months time or so. Our subject should set monthly goals of maybe 1 inch onto a body part such as their arms, or around 4-6lbs of lean muscle mass. These goals, being short term, will allow our subject to continuously be able to check in on themselves to make sure they are making progress, which may not have been quite so noticeable without setting goals to hit, and in doing so will help them keep their motivation at an all time high.

Goal setting outside of fitness

You shouldn't limit your goal setting just in your fitness, it's so important in day to day life as well. Whatever you are trying to progress at, be it your job, your relationship, a skill or hobby you've gotten in to it doesn't matter. Setting both long term goals and short term goals will help you monitor your progress, stay motivated and keep things organised on your journey to success in life. So don't forget, start by setting your long term goal (at least a year from now) then break down this into smaller short term goals (from 24 hours up to around a month) to help keep you on track and enjoy the process along the way.

For more articles like this one be sure to check out my articles page and go read whatever takes your fancy. Feel free to contact me for any questions you may have and go check out my programs to help you in your fitness journey.

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