How To Set Successful Fitness Goals

We all go into their newly-mapped out fitness routines with the best intentions - but few can keep them from falling by the wayside a month or two down the track.

Here are some tips from the founders of Fitaz Functional Kinetics, Aaron McAllister and Georgio Batsinilas, on how to set realistic fitness goals and smart practices, and make sure they succeed. 

1. Get S.M.A.R.T

Aaron and Georgio suggest using the S.M.A.R.T principle when setting goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound.

Specific: Create a vision or statement and write it down. Place it somewhere you can see it every day. 

Measurable: Whether it's how far you can run, how many reps you can do - put a figure or a measure on your goal so you can track your progress. 

Achievable: If you've never run before, it's unlikely you're going to be sprinting marathons by the end of the month. Start with small steps, like, running around the block three times - depending on your fitness level. Without small-picture goals, you're likely going to get lost or give up chasing the big picture. 

Relevant: Make the goal relevant to you. As Wikipedia puts it: "A bank manager's goal to make 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by 2pm may be specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound, but lacks relevance."

Time Bound: Set a target date or time to create urgency and keep you focused on the end result.

2. Visualise your goals

Georgio and Aaron also encourage creating a "visual framework" or affirmation for your goal. "Visualise how you will look, how you will feel, why you will keep going," the trainers say. "Use this technique as reinforcement and to stay positive throughout."

To visualise and remind yourself of your goals, Georgio and Aaron recommend meditating to focus and relax the body. 

They also suggest vocalising your goals. "It might seem silly, but saying out loud forces you to own [your goals], and be accountable for them."

3. Reward yourself

According to Georgio and Aaron: "Rewards are important to keeping the motivation alive." Make sure you pat yourself on the back when you achieve a goal. Whether you express that by buying that pair of jeans you've wanted, or having a glass of wine that night - it's important to positively reinforce yourself. 

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