2020 Fitness: The beauty of setting small, incremental goals

Success doesn’t happen overnight. Setting small, incremental goals is a great way to keep motivation high over the long term.

When people make the decision to get in better shape, the process can seem pretty daunting.

And, yes, it’s a long road from being a couch potato to a model of fitness. But we’ve found time and again that by setting incremental — and realistic — goals, people are able to make continuous progress with their health, and enjoy the ride along the way.

Goal setting is something a lot of people undertake in January with a new year’s resolution. But they often fall into the trap of setting a big, outlandish goal and then getting frustrated and quitting before they’ve achieved it because they aren’t seeing immediate results.

That’s why with our clients at 2020, we recommend setting incremental goals on a monthly or quarterly basis, and revisiting them frequently.

It doesn’t matter what your big picture goal is — be it losing weight, gaining muscle or just feeling better in general. The trick is to start with small, achievable steps, and building from there.

For example, let’s say you’ve been inactive for a while and are looking to build up some baseline fitness and get more energy throughout the day. Start by making yourself a promise to work out three times a week for a month. Keep track of how you do. At the end of that month, take a look at your results. Were you able to get out as much as you intended? If not, what were the factors that kept you from meeting your goal? See if you can tweak the variables that presented barriers and give the goal another try. Once you’ve achieved it, set a new goal to work out four times per week.

By setting small, incremental goals and continuously reviewing progress on them, you’ll find that those big picture goals just keep getting closer and closer.

For more thoughts on goal setting, check out this 2020 Experience podcast episode.

And if you’re interested in stopping by 2020 to see what we offer, sign up for your free class here.