How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals

Resolutions and goals are choices that we made in our own psyche. But a weight loss goal can range from broad, vague, and undetermined to detailed and concrete. A weight loss goal can be created at any time of the year.

It’s important that you set a realistic goal, not a vague one. For example, “I want to get in shape this year” could be reimagined as “I want to lose 5 pounds this month.” From there, you can create smaller tasks on a daily or weekly basis to accomplish your bigger resolution.

Choose One Goal

When you choose one goal, you learn to focus on one thing. If you want to focus on nutrition, make a conscious choice to eat properly for two weeks. In two weeks, you’ll form a habit, and it will be easier to do without as much of a mental effort. If you want to focus on fat loss, commit to going to the gym along with eating properly.

Write It Down

We’ve all heard this a million times, but it works. Make a plan and write it down. Then write down when you accomplish the smaller tasks that lead to the bigger goals. As you begin to check off the tasks, you’ll feel a sense of pride that will motivate you to keep going. Track your tasks on a weekly or daily basis, depending on what works best for you and your schedule.

Internal Motivation

Certain schools of thought state that willpower is a finite resource; namely, motivation is limited and eventually runs out. Each act of self-control drains your motivation a little further. It slowly runs out throughout the day and over time. For example, many New Years’ goals start in January but run out of motivation by February.

Another school of thought is that the motivation that you pull is coming from two places: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation literally comes from within you mentally and emotionally. An example of intrinsic motivation is wanting to be better for yourself. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of yourself and from other people. An example of extrinsic motivation is wanting to look better because someone made fun of your body.

The idea is that intrinsic motivation is less draining than extrinsic. If you want your reservation of willpower to last longer, try to dig deeper from within. Your intrinsic motivation to be a better, healthier version of you is going to push you longer and harder than extrinsic motivation if you just want to look better because of what others say.


Creating a support system is important to support you and your goals. Your family, friends, and partner can all help you to get where you want to be in your fitness goals. When you stumble and feel like quitting, your support system will help you push through to keep going.

There are a ton of reasons to use a fitness community. They’ll keep you accountable – you don’t want to disappoint the people you’re working with. They’ll help you feel more confident in what our bodies can be pushed to do. In addition, group settings push you harder. In general, humans are competitive. We strive to push to that next level and beat out our workout neighbor.

Another great reason to use your fitness community is for a knowledge base. Workout communities are rich with people who have been working out for years who know all the little tricks and tips. Not sure how to do that new exercise? Ask around! But it’s not only the experts you can rely on – beginners bring new ideas to try out.

There are a ton of types of communities out there. It could be as simple as a Facebook group where you can ask questions, share progress, and post transformations. It could be a weekly workout group where you push each other in that one hour a week. Another option could be to do a 30-day workout challenge where you have daily challenges. Whatever you choose, you might have to try a few groups before you find one you like.

Heather Rider
Writer at STSFit | + posts

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