When living a healthy lifestyle and sticking to a fitness plan it’s important to set yourself goals. Having a goal or a set of goals allows you to break down your focuses and progress your health and fitness rather than having a general aim to 'get fitter and healthier'. Goal setting can be an overwhelming task due to the vast amount of areas that could be considered. Sally Donald, a personal trainer who specialises in helping women with body confidence and health, is on board to offer some advice on health and fitness goal setting.
It can be hard to stay on track and remain motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle. Working out 5 times per week, staying hydrated, eating healthily… these things often drop to the bottom of our to-do list in times of stress, or when life gets busy. There have been many times when I’ve really had to dig deep to find the motivation to drag myself to the gym, as opposed to the easy option – going home to scroll mindlessly through Instagram with Netflix playing in the background; but nothing worth having comes easy! So, if you’re the same as me and sometimes you struggle to find the motivation to work out, then setting some goals may help keep you going; as it definitely helps me stay on track.
Set yourself weekly action-based goals
Every Sunday, I set some time aside to write out my goals for the week ahead. I write them at the top of my diary, so they’re prioritised and not forgotten. Every morning when I look at my diary, I am reminded of my goals and this pushes me further towards them every day. So when Sunday comes back around again, I’m not left thinking ‘oops! I completely forgot I set that goal!’
In all aspects of my life, I set action-based goals as opposed to outcome-based goals. For example, in terms of fitness, rather than setting a goal of ‘becoming more fit’ I set goals such as ‘walk 10,000 steps every day’ or ‘go to the gym 3 times this week’. Ultimately, these simple lists guide me towards my goal of becoming fitter and healthier; they’re also something I can tick off my list at the end of each day giving me a visual sense of achievement and fulfilment.
Organising your workout
Organisation is one of the most important things in achieving your fitness goals. I plan and organise my time so that my goals will become a reality. I fit my workouts into my schedule for the week - I then highlight these as an appointment in my schedule as if it were an important doctors or dentist appointment so there’s no excuse. My health and fitness is very important to me, so setting myself time to go to the gym at the start of the week makes it a priority. I've seen people get to the end of the week having not exercised once. More often than not, this is because exercise isn’t the top of their priority list and they haven’t planned ahead properly to ensure they have adequate time.
Once I have organised my schedule and set appropriate goals in line with how much time I have that week; I will take action to make sure my goals are executed. This includes packing my gym clothes and water bottle in my bag, creating a motivating workout playlist and packing a TREK bar in my bag for my pre-workout snack so I know I will have enough energy to keep me going!
Now, the only thing to do is to work through my to-do list and smash my goals! The steps I have already taken to set goals and plan ahead, makes it that little bit easier to stay on track and it also motivates me and excites me, knowing what I can achieve that week!
You can follow Sally Donald on Instagram. In 2012, Sally moved to Edinburgh to study a 4 year degree in Psychology; where she went on to specialise in eating habits and the effect they can have on body image. This knowledge, combined with her passion for fitness, allowed her to gain her personal training qualification and specialise in helping women with body confidence and health issues.