Exercise! - Setting Fitness Goals




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Heather
07-03-2007, 09:59 AM
I would like to take the focus off the scale set some fitness/exercise goals for myself. But I am not good at setting goals like this, apparently. I had a hard enough time setting a weight goal, and there's really only one choice there: pick a number!

But for fitness, there are so many ways you can go: different activities, and then within those, different kinds of goals... If you're a runner, you can shoot for "personal bests" for time or distance. Someone who lifts could set a goal of number of pounds you lift, etc...

So, I'm just looking for ideas/information. Tell me YOUR fitness goals... either when you first started, or now.

For those of you who've been at this a while, how do your goals change and evolve?

And finally, how do you decide? How do you prioritize, etc...

So, don't worry about helping me set any goals, just tell me about YOU!! :D


crazy helen
07-03-2007, 10:34 AM
Hi there,
For me its just about pushing myself a little bit further, and increasing the amount each week, even if its just running an extra 5 minutes a day, it builds me up gradually. I guess it depends what sort of exercise your doing on what your goals are, for me with running its quite easy to have an ultimate goal.

Ilene
07-03-2007, 03:12 PM
I just go with the flow... Bike longer and harder... Lift heavier and with more intensity... Run a few more minutes... I just don't really "think" about my exercising, I just do them...

Over the years they've just evolved. I remember when I started seriously biking I thought 10K was :woohoo: far... Now 10k is nothing, I usually average 20+k/day without even blinking an eye...

I guess I'm not that goal oriented or specific, my exercise goals just happen as I get fitter...

I'm not much help am I :lol:


Heather
07-03-2007, 03:48 PM
Actually, Ilene, it DOES help. Maybe not being goal oriented isn't such a bad thing!! :D

srmb60
07-03-2007, 04:02 PM
I like tickers for kilometers walked in a month or minutes spent walking ... that type of thing. Although I very seldom meet any of these goals ... seeing the ticker is motivational. I think I do more when I'm aware like that.

LisaMarie71
07-04-2007, 08:12 AM
Setting fitness goals instead of scale goals is such a fantastic idea. In fact, that's the most important factor in my plan for maintenance after I hit my weight goal.

For me, it's all about running. I do other types of exercise, but running has become my focus and I've found that as long as I keep signing up for races and training for them, I'm pretty much forced to work toward my goals! Right now the main goal I have in mind is to finish the 1/2 marathon I'm doing in September. I want to run the whole thing, but I'm ok with taking a walk break here and there. In the beginning of the year, my goal was to finish a 10k. I also have goals like "run a 5k in less than 30 minutes," which I hope to do after the 1/2 marathon, but I can work toward it now by incorporating a fast 5k run in my training schedule. For my first 5k in April, my goal was to run it under 35 minutes, so you can see the progression! What I love about running is that you can set personal goals for yourself and not worry about what anyone else is doing. You can see such improvements if you log your runs, and that keeps you going. But I guess you could do that with any exercise program as well!

I hope you let us know what fitness goals you decide on for yourself!

ebe
07-05-2007, 03:14 PM
I need to set some new goals for myself as I've met some recently and getting close to another! :carrot:
First one was running a 5k in under 30 minutes -- clocked in at 28! err 28 and some seconds...but not many!
Second and the one that I am soooo very close to but haven't done an official test is pullups and chinups. My goal was to be able to just be able to do one of each finally, for the first time in my life. I'm gonna try them with no assistance next back work out.

I keep telling myself I'm going to start focusing on running but I don't want to lose the pretty muscles I've gotten lately from dropping a few cardio sessions. I would really really like to get into some long distance running though. Or at least I like saying I'd like to get into it.

BoopRN
07-05-2007, 03:55 PM
Same here, since I've started working out I've found myself going faster on the treadmill. I am currently doing 4 miles four days a week. I want to be able to get under 1hr for my goal. I usually speed walk since I have bad knees so I cannot run any more :( I feel like can can be running but I have to think no busting my knees.

Sheila53
07-05-2007, 07:38 PM
I like setting fitness goals, too, and since I have a personal trainer, it's kind of expected. Last year, my goal was to run a 5K. This year, my goal is to run a 5K in a certain time. Plus I want to leg press a particular weight, and do one regular push-up. That last one may be the most difficult because of the time it's taken me to get back my strength after breaking my arm, and now having tendonitis in that elbow. But, like scale goals, if I don't make it, I just continue working on it until I do.

Good luck with your fitness goals!

Heather
07-05-2007, 11:26 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. It's interesting to see how different people are in the specifics, timeframes, etc.

I think one of my general goals is going to be to just TRY some new activities! I haven't done a lot of "active" things. We have a rock climbing wall at the gym, and that's one thing I'd like to give a "go".

But that's not really a "fitness" goal, per se.

I'm enjoying the weight training I'm doing, and have really started to incorporate more "core work" -- but I don't know what a "goal" is with that kind of activity.

Maybe another goal is to commit to biking to work so many days a week or something like that.

hmm... I'm starting to think I don't have "fitness" goals, but "activity" goals...

I'd love to hear some more of your goals, or thoughts about the process!

ennay
07-05-2007, 11:41 PM
When I started it was about doing x number of times a week or something...those goals didnt work for me too well.

For me running/walking events has been amazing because it totally detached exercise from weight loss. I no longer run to lose weight. Which means when my self sabotage kicks in, quite often exercise survives.

It doesnt matter how slow you are either. Even walking. Complete a 5K, then whatever. I ran into a woman yesterday who has walked a 1/2 marathon every month this year.

Training for events puts a firm deadline (I register early too) so you have a measurable goal with a fixed deadline. ANd it gives lots of mini goals....for me even when I was preggo I kept running and walking and waddling because I knew that to do portland marathon this year I wanted to be able to run a half no later than June which meant a 10K no later than March which meant a 5K no later than January....etc.

And the goals are infinite....I cant keep losing weight forever but I can keep going faster or farther or place better in my age group, or be the ONLY one in my age group etc.

I have some more future goals too, that I havent fixed....someday I'll do dips and pullups without weight assistance...

srmb60
07-06-2007, 08:13 AM
Thoughts on the process?

I have found myself at goal weight before ... I stepped back in wonder ... what do I shoot for now???? Without the two more pounds, two more pounds ... just one more pound mentality, I'm sure I'm not the only one who has felt a little lost.
Having a fitness goal gives me a tangible focus that doesn't have to include a scale-based reward.

WaterRat
07-06-2007, 01:24 PM
Well, some weeks my goal is just to keep to my exercise plan for the week! :lol:

Seriously though, now that I've done my 1/2 marathon walk, and recovered, I don't have any hard and fast goals. The closest thing I have is to start moving forward again with my weight training. For the past 3 months I haven't changed it much, including not going up in the amount I lift. I enjoy it much more than cardio, and am putting back to an equal if not greater priority. :)

phantastica
07-06-2007, 01:57 PM
I'm a very unsophisticated, novice exerciser right now. My current goal is to do 30 minutes of cardio five days a week at the gym before work. Eventually I will need to change my routine, add weight lifting, etc., but for now, I'm focusing on making myself a regular exerciser.

Although this hasn't made me lose a ton of weight yet, I realized that how I feel every day after exercising before work is worth the effort. So I guess one of my goals is to keep putting a spring in my step.

Heather
07-08-2007, 11:28 AM
I met with my trainer yesterday and talked about my goals.

I am going to focus on continuing to build strength, core work, and, some aesthetics (I could have great looking arms and shoulders I think).

But looking at the bigger picture, my goals are to find fun, challenging activities. I'm loving the work I'm doing with the trainer -- we're incorporating a lot more core work with the weight lifting and I love the challenge and all. I have decided that I need to explore more activities I might enjoy. So.... I'm going to check out some of the pilates and yoga classes at the gym, and try things like: rock climbing, tennis (haven't played in years), and maybe even martial arts!

I think if I find more "fun" things to do, I can continue to exercise very regularly. That's a goal!

AnneWonders
07-08-2007, 11:45 AM
I have a few life goals. I've done some of them, and the ones that are left are to do an Ironman triathlon and to qualify for the Boston marathon. These are BIG goals that take years to get to, many steps, and lots of sustained effort. I find they keep me focused on the long term, which is good, especially when one is sidelined due to injury, exceptionally busy family or work times, or um pregnancy. :) Note that I have revised my life goals from time to time. At one point I wanted to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim to rim, but then on a trip there when I had to practically crawl out of my car to get anywhere near the edge, I remembered the magnitude of my fear of heights and decided that I just didn't need that much trauma in my life.

The small goals are good for getting out. In the past, I set myself with a minimum on 20 minutes of exercise a day (good for getting started or restarted). Do my pushups. Try a new activity. Push DD in the stroller. Walk the dogs. Swim. I usually set these weekly.

And then there are the intermediate goals that I can get done within a year. Improve on a 5K time. Run a half marathon. Do a pull up. Be ready for an active vacation.

I find the mix of short, intermediate, and long term goals keep me focused on the big picture, while not forgetting the small stuff. And it is important to realize that not everything is compatible at the same time. Squatting a new weight is not compatible with running a half (for me anyway), so I need to pick one or the other. Finally, while I don't pick goals lightly, it is OK to change them if you need to. I believe that our goals should enhance our life in some way, and if there is more trauma than challenge, it is time to pack it up and move on.

Heather, I envy you the rock climbing. If I ever lose the fear of simply standing on a chair, I'm going to give it a try. I find it fascinating.

Anne

baffled111
07-08-2007, 12:46 PM
I've been giving this question some thought for the last few days. My primary goals at the moment are aesthetic--I'm building muscles and trying to get rid of a little bit of fat. My body is getting nice and strong and I'm enjoying that. I stick with cardio because I want to have plenty of leeway with my calorie consumption.

The most important thing for me though, I think, is to make being active a natural part of my life. I go to the gym, sure, but I have started going on long bike rides for fun, riding my bike to work instead of driving, giving my dog extra-long walks and generally seeking to use my body whenever possible. I am thinking of taking up rock climbing this summer and I'm pondering the possibility of starting yoga or dance classes in the fall. I want to be the kind of person who exercises without thinking about it and I want to think of exercising not as a chore, but as a pleasure. I want to have a fit, active and healthy life. That's my goal.

ennay
07-08-2007, 04:41 PM
I have a few life goals. I've done some of them, and the ones that are left are to do an Ironman triathlon and to qualify for the Boston marathon. These are BIG goals that take years to get to, many steps, and lots of sustained effort. I find they keep me focused on the long term, which is good, especially when one is sidelined due to injury, exceptionally busy family or work times, or um pregnancy. :) Note that I have revised my life goals from time to time. At one point I wanted to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim to rim, but then on a trip there when I had to practically crawl out of my car to get anywhere near the edge, I remembered the magnitude of my fear of heights and decided that I just didn't need that much trauma in my life.

The small goals are good for getting out. In the past, I set myself with a minimum on 20 minutes of exercise a day (good for getting started or restarted). Do my pushups. Try a new activity. Push DD in the stroller. Walk the dogs. Swim. I usually set these weekly.

And then there are the intermediate goals that I can get done within a year. Improve on a 5K time. Run a half marathon. Do a pull up. Be ready for an active vacation.

I find the mix of short, intermediate, and long term goals keep me focused on the big picture, while not forgetting the small stuff. And it is important to realize that not everything is compatible at the same time. Squatting a new weight is not compatible with running a half (for me anyway), so I need to pick one or the other. Finally, while I don't pick goals lightly, it is OK to change them if you need to. I believe that our goals should enhance our life in some way, and if there is more trauma than challenge, it is time to pack it up and move on.

Heather, I envy you the rock climbing. If I ever lose the fear of simply standing on a chair, I'm going to give it a try. I find it fascinating.

Anne

Maybe there is more in a name than Shakespeare gave credit....

I think this is my post and you just wrote it for me :)

Heather
07-08-2007, 04:51 PM
Anne -- I really like thinking about short and long term goals like that! My whole life I NEVER had fitness goals. I think I have (relatively well) mastered the goal of getting the exercise IN by setting monthly exercise goals. You're right, these goals are perfect for getting me "out" and doing something.

But now it's time to set longer term goals -- and I know I will continue to craft these. I guess the next step is to find something I like and find ways to improve. I thought a long time ago I might get into jogging or running, but my knee bugs me too much. But I think there are ways to set improvement goals with almost anything.

I want to be the kind of person who exercises without thinking about it and I want to think of exercising not as a chore, but as a pleasure. I want to have a fit, active and healthy life. That's my goal.

Wow. Well said also. I said something very similar to the trainer yesterday!

Thanks for your thoughts so far on this thread -- it's very helpful to see how people think about this issue!!

Ilene
07-08-2007, 10:44 PM
This thread has got me thinking that I need some goals :yes: ...

I want to be the kind of person who exercises without thinking about it and I want to think of exercising not as a chore, but as a pleasure. I want to have a fit, active and healthy life. That's my goal.
I am at that point, I don't think, I just do it....and enjoy my daily workout tremendously... I feel I need more, but I don't know what yet :chin:

Heather
07-09-2007, 12:39 AM
Ilene, I do aspire to have your attitude about exercise!! I don't know if I ever can, but that is certainly a goal! :D