How to make realistic fitness goals

Do you really think having goals is actually like having goals? Because often people have a vague and fragile WHY.

Okay, I don’t want to speak in cryptic language. Let me be more clear.

A lot of times people start their fitness journey by having one goal. Now, goals can be different for different people. I have observed that most of the goals that people set are serious resolutions.

Goals are typically formed on multiple occasions. For example:

  1. On new year’s day

  2. Before your marriage

  3. Wanting to impress your date

  4. To get rid of lifestyle diseases

When people work on these goals, turns out, most of the time the results are disappointing due to unrealistic expectations and misguided strategies. Because hey, how many times have you Googled, ‘how to lose fat around the belly quickly?

I got curious to dive deeper into goals to see what exactly is running in people’s minds.

I have come to the understanding that goals are of two kinds:

  1. Clearly defined outcome-based

  2. Unclear feel-good-look-good based

This is what differentiates the WHY. Outcome-based goals like “I want to lose 20kgs of weight” or “I want to get 6 pack abs” are often your WHYs when you start.

Similarly, the WHY for feel-good-look-good-based goals sounds something like “I want to get featured for finishing my marathon, eating the medal like Nadal” or “I want to reach the summit for the trek that I’m planning to go in two months”. A feel-good-look-good goal would ideally not have a number-based outcome behind it.

Have you thought about how much of your goal is actually in your control? Let me show you some scenarios on how and why these goals can disappoint you.

Imagine you start exercising 2 hours a day with a high focus on crunches, flutter kicks, or other exercises related to abs thinking more abs exercises can get you abs quickly but even after 6 months, you don’t even see your abs popping out.

Imagine getting an injured ankle while on a run outside on a just Day 2 of your preparation for that trek.

There are SO many other ways your goals could go extremely haywire.

Just to be clear, having a goal is not wrong at all. In fact, everyone should have it. But don’t make it seem like clearing an entrance exam for an IIT or IIM.

You have to be clear about WHY you’ve chosen this goal and not something else. Your crush will certainly get impressed by your physique, but then is it sustainable enough? What if she starts dating someone else? Would you stop exercising then? I hope that does not happen, but still, that’s life.

So what is the solution here?

  1. You can never ever control the situation. But what you can control is the smaller incremental progress you do burden-free to enjoy the journey. Goals will fall in place. For example, Your goal could be to build a relationship with the modified diet that you pick up as a part of your personalized program. You will not care about the outcomes anymore.

  2. Never download an app or make a Google search for one-size-fits-all solutions. Everybody is different. Always seek guidance from experts. 99% of the time you can avoid an injury simply by receiving very personalized guidance from a coach or an expert who actually understands your current ability, and gives you the right suggestions.

There can be even more solutions if you start thinking about it with a calm mind.

Never be hasty when it comes to fitness. This journey is going to be a long but super exciting one. Often times this journey becomes your best friend and also helps a lot when it comes to dealing with work and life-related mental stress.

To conclude, finding your WHY is like finding your soul. It’s so fulfilling and rewarding.

I love brainstorming with people about their WHYs. Hit me up!

About the Author

Chetan Reddy

Co-Founder and Certified Fitness Trainer

Head of Sales and Partnership

Chetan has more than 4 years of experience in Business Development and Sales activities in his previous startup Drone Nation. He has done his Engineering in Chemical and Masters in Mathematics from BITS, Pilani. He started his professional career with Bounce, India’s largest ride-sharing platform. He played a key role in business development activities and also in setting up their operations during their initial days at few metro stations in Bangalore, He had a remarkable journey as a Co-founder with Drone Nation, a drone imagery-based tech-startup which has been acquired in 2020 giving him a successful exit.

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BurnCal uses a calculated, well-researched combination of human skill and technology to provide personalized exercise and diet plans to new and seasoned fitness enthusiasts.

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