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Setting Fitness Goals

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Old 07-03-2007, 09:59 AM   #1
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Default Setting Fitness Goals

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!!
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Old 07-03-2007, 10:34 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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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 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
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:48 PM   #4
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Actually, Ilene, it DOES help. Maybe not being goal oriented isn't such a bad thing!!
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:02 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-04-2007, 08:12 AM   #6
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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!
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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I need to set some new goals for myself as I've met some recently and getting close to another!
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.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:55 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:38 PM   #9
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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!
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:26 PM   #10
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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!
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:41 PM   #11
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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...
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:13 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:24 PM   #13
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Well, some weeks my goal is just to keep to my exercise plan for the week!

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.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:57 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:28 AM   #15
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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!
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