Weight loss & Fitness

3 signs your fitness goals are unrealistic


When starting a new fitness program, everyone has certain goals in mind and it is important to set goals that are realistic so that you can be successful in reaching your targets.  What are your fitness goals?  Do you think that your goals are realistic?  And if they aren’t, how do you make it so they are?

How do you know if your fitness goals are unrealistic?

  1.  If you have been working really hard and don’t seem to be getting any closer than you were when you first started your fitness program.
  2. If you are really sore and barely able to walk or do anything, this is a sign that you probably are doing too much.  It is okay to be a little sore after working out and it may even feel good to know that you worked your body. On the other hand if you can’t even get off the couch or you have to walk sideways down the stairs, it is likely that you worked too hard.
  3. You continuously put off working out, and have pretty much stopped.

These are signs that you might need to rethink your goals, and decide whether or not they are attainable. Setting goals and not reaching them can cause several negative side effects including depression, anxiety, procrastination, and uncertainty.  It can cause people to spend a lot of time thinking about their goals and less time actually trying to achieve them.

How can you set fitness goals that are realistic?

First of all, when setting any kind of goal it is better to set manageable goals that will eventually lead to a much larger goal.  For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds, set a much smaller goal of losing 10 pounds first.  This is a much easier goal to attain and you will be more likely to feel successful.

Another example is if you currently don’t work out at all, you shouldn’t make it a goal to go to the gym every day.  You should start out small and decide you are going to go to the gym 2 days per week, and once you reach that goal, you should start gradually adding an additional day. By setting smaller goals, you will be much more likely to be successful.

According to NASM, in order for your goals to be effective, you should set SCAMPI goals.  This is an acronym of the 6 principles of effective goal setting:


Setting specific goals will result in better performance.  When setting a goal, you should specify the number of workouts that you are going to do or how long you are going to spend working out, rather than just say you are going to work out more.

C – Challenging

If you set a goal that is not to easy to accomplish, but will provide a little bit of a challenge for you, you will accomplish more.  You should set a goal that you are able to achieve, but is in the upper level of your ability.  This will cause you to put forth effort, and you will develop confidence once your goal is achieved.

A – Approach

You should set goals that focus on something that you want to achieve, rather than something that you want to avoid.  When people set goals related to things that they want to avoid, they are usually less happy, healthy and motivated than those who set goals related to things that they want to achieve.

M- Measurable

When setting goals, they should be measurable so you know whether your strategy is working. they will also encourage steady progress, so if you do have a minor setback turn into a larger setback, and eventually give up completely.

P – Proximal

Setting a lot of short term goals that lead to a long term goal will lead to better performance.

It also will increase your confidence, make you more determined, and increase your happiness.

I – Inspirational

Setting goals that inspire you will keep you interested and increase your confidence.  This will enhance your performance, persistence, creativity and self-esteem.

So, if you have certain goals, and feel as if you aren’t achieving them, you should reassess your goals.  You should decide what your ultimate goal is, and why you want to achieve that goal to figure out what your motivation is.

Then, you should set more realistic goals using the SCAMPI principles.  Another thing that may help motivate you is if you reward yourself along the way.  When you achieve your first small goal, maybe you should reward yourself with a new outfit or a movie that you want to see.  That will give you something to look forward to.  Just don’t reward yourself with something that will have a negative effect on your goal.

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