Fitness Fun

Are Your Fitness Goals Too Complex?

Kill Fitness Goals-Girl Gives Up at Gym

Do you struggle with seeing your fitness goals through to the end, or do you come up with some awesome ideas and then not know exactly how to get after them?

If you’ve ever experienced problems like this, you’re not alone! I’ve definitely had my fair share of unrealized goals, too.

One big reason why we may have missed our mark in the past is that our fitness goals are too complex.

Let’s take a look at some common goal-setting mistakes and figure out how we can simplify our fitness goals, making it easier to achieve them!

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Girl is tired from running

What’s one of the fastest ways to kill your fitness goals? Believe it or not, making too many goals at once can lead to a dead end really fast.

According to Sheena Iyengar, Columbia professor and author of “The Art of Choosing,” having too many options can tank your ability to be productive.

While it’s good to be ambitious and want to improve, spreading ourselves too thin can make it harder for us to give each goal its proper focus and attention. Setting too many expectations on ourselves all at once can become overwhelming, and it can become difficult to devote enough time to finish each task.

Depending on your specific fitness goals, I recommend picking a couple. Go ahead and brainstorm out a list of things you want to improve, then go through and prioritize them.

Select 1-3 goals and focus on those until they are accomplished. This is one way to simplify your fitness goals, so you don’t end up feeling like you’re juggling too much.

Setting Unclear and Vague Goals

Another reason your fitness goals may seem overly complicated is that they aren’t clear enough. You may have written down a couple fitness goals that look great on paper but aren’t concrete enough, resulting in you chasing after them blindly.

As you reflect on fitness milestones you want to achieve, ask yourself, “Are these specific enough?”

Goals that are too generic like “lose some weight,” “get a flatter stomach,” and “run more often” leave too much room for confusion and, ultimately, failure. They’re a little too vague and don’t provide you with enough direction.

If your goal this year is to lose weight, write down a specific number. If you want to have a flatter stomach, think of a pant size you want to fit in, and if you want to run more, how many miles do you want to run?

Setting ourselves up for success is more than just jotting down some goals that sound good. It requires diving below the surface!

So, take a minute, sit down, and brainstorm some clear goals. Or, if you already have goals set, go back and make sure that they are clear-cut. Doing this will help keep your goals from becoming too complex and confusing.

No Real Plan of Action

Woman Checking Her Weight On A Scale

This step is super important for helping you figure out exactly how to accomplish your goals. Breaking down goals into smaller tasks helps simplify them and makes it easier for you to stay on track.

I recommend taking your goals and breaking them down into smaller tasks, small enough that you can focus on them on a weekly or daily basis. This will obviously depend what your fitness goal is.

Doing this will make it harder for you to procrastinate and put your goal off for the proverbial “next week.” You’ll be making yourself accountable immediately!

For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds by summertime, here is an example of how you could break this weight loss goal down to daily and weekly mini tasks:

  • Stay under my caloric requirements.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit myself to one “cheat meal” each week.
  • Opt for lean meats and complex carbohydrates.
  • Eat 5 smaller meals a day to curb my hunger and keep my metabolism high.

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If your goal is to to be more physically fit, here is how you could break it down into smaller daily and weekly tasks:

  • Set a smaller goal to work out 4 times a week.
  • Implement both resistance and cardio exercise.
  • Avoid elevators, and take the stairs when available.
  • Ride a bike to work one time a week.

By breaking down your goals into smaller tasks, you’re essentially turning your goals into actions!

Not Keeping Track

Measuring your goals is yet another way you can simplify them. Being able to track your goals will help you stay focused on them and continue progressing.

Luckily, fitness goals are very easy to measure and track.

You can actually whip out a tape measure to track your weight loss progress! You can step on a scale, and you can record your workouts down in your phone or in a journal!

Take a look at your fitness goals, and figure out a way to effectively measure them.

For those trying to lose a certain amount of pounds, you can start off by writing down what you ate throughout the day. As you become more comfortable, you can start to track exactly how many calories you ate, or break that down further into tracking your macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbs).

If your goal is to become the most physically fit version of yourself, log your exercise days and workouts in a journal or on your phone. This will keep you accountable, and also allow you to look back on your performance and measure your progress.

Keep It Simple

Setting fitness goals is great, achieving them is even better.

Getting specific with your goals and breaking them down into smaller ones is an excellent way to avoid getting wrapped up in complex goals. The more simple you can make your goals, the more achievable they become.

Simplifying your weight loss and fitness goals will also allow you to plan accordingly, should you happen to run into any hiccups along the way.

You don’t have to wait until New Year’s to start bettering yourself. Set some goals today that you want to start working on, and apply these steps for the best results.

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Chelsea Ratcliff

Chelsea Ratcliff

Writer and expert


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