Home Motivation for Fitness How to set realistic and achievable fitness goals

How to set realistic and achievable fitness goals

How to set realistic and achievable fitness goals


How to Set Realistic and Achievable Fitness Goals

Setting fitness goals is an important part of any wellness journey. Whether you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply improve your overall health, having clear and achievable goals can help keep you motivated and on track. However, setting unrealistic or unattainable goals can lead to frustration and disappointment. In this article, we will discuss the steps to setting realistic and achievable fitness goals, incorporating real-life examples, and taking a storytelling approach.

Step 1: Understand Your Current Fitness Level

Before setting any fitness goals, it’s important to understand your current fitness level. This includes assessing your physical strength, endurance, flexibility, and overall health. You can do this by consulting with a personal trainer, taking fitness assessments, or simply being honest with yourself about where you currently stand. By understanding your starting point, you can set goals that are both challenging and attainable.

Real-life Example:

For example, if you are someone who hasn’t exercised regularly in a long time, it may not be realistic to set a goal of running a marathon in the next three months. Instead, a more achievable goal could be to start with regular walks and gradually build up to jogging for 30 minutes a few times a week.

Step 2: Set SMART Goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. When setting fitness goals, it’s important to follow this framework to ensure your goals are clear and achievable.

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve. For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds” is more specific than “I want to lose weight.”
  • Measurable: Determine how you will measure your progress. This could be through tracking workouts, keeping a food diary, or monitoring your weight and body measurements.
  • Attainable: Make sure your goal is realistic and within reach. Setting a goal of losing 10 pounds in a month may not be attainable or healthy for everyone.
  • Relevant: Your fitness goals should align with your overall health and wellness objectives. For example, if your goal is to improve cardiovascular health, setting a goal of running a certain distance may be relevant.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving your goal. This provides a sense of urgency and helps you stay focused.

Real-life Example:

Let’s say your specific goal is to be able to do 10 pull-ups, and you give yourself three months to achieve this. This goal is measurable (you can track your progress by the number of pull-ups you can currently do), attainable (if you are currently unable to do any pull-ups, you can work towards this goal with proper training), relevant (improving upper body strength and overall fitness), and time-bound.

Step 3: Create a Plan

Once you have set SMART goals, it’s important to create a plan of action. This could include establishing a workout routine, seeking out a fitness coach or personal trainer, and making dietary changes. Having a clear plan in place can help you stay on track and make progress towards your goals.

Real-life Example:

If your goal is to run a 5k race in three months, your plan could include a mix of running and strength training workouts, as well as a focus on proper nutrition and hydration. You may also want to consider joining a running group for support and accountability.

Step 4: Track Your Progress

Regularly tracking your progress is essential for staying motivated and making adjustments to your plan as needed. This could involve keeping a workout journal, using a fitness app, or working with a personal trainer to assess your progress. By monitoring your achievements, you can celebrate your successes and identify areas for improvement.

Real-life Example:

If your goal is to reduce your body fat percentage, you can track your progress by regularly measuring your body fat percentage, taking progress photos, and noting changes in how your clothes fit. This will give you a tangible way to see your progress and stay motivated.

Step 5: Be Flexible and Adjust as Needed

Finally, it’s important to be flexible with your goals and willing to adjust them as needed. Circumstances in life can change, and it’s important to be adaptable and open to modifying your goals if necessary. This could mean extending deadlines, reevaluating your plan, or even setting new goals altogether.

Real-life Example:

If you encounter an injury or illness that prevents you from working towards your original goal, it’s important to be flexible and adjust your plan accordingly. This might mean shifting your focus to a different type of exercise or setting a new goal that aligns with your current circumstances.


Setting realistic and achievable fitness goals is essential for making progress and maintaining motivation on your wellness journey. By understanding your current fitness level, setting SMART goals, creating a plan, tracking your progress, and being flexible, you can set yourself up for success. Remember that everyone’s fitness journey is unique, and it’s important to be patient with yourself as you work towards your goals.


What if I don’t achieve my fitness goals?

If you don’t achieve your fitness goals in the timeframe you set, it’s important to reassess and reflect on the reasons why. It could be that your goals were unrealistic, your plan was not effective, or unforeseen circumstances arose. Use this as an opportunity to learn and adjust your goals and plan as needed.

How often should I revisit my fitness goals?

It’s a good idea to revisit your fitness goals regularly, such as every 3-6 months. This allows you to assess your progress and make any necessary adjustments or set new goals based on your current fitness level and objectives.

How can I stay motivated to work towards my fitness goals?

Staying motivated can be challenging, but finding a support system, tracking your progress, and celebrating your achievements can help keep you motivated. It’s also important to focus on the positive changes you are making for your health and wellness.



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