Losing weight is a tough battle. It may be a battle that you’ve won several times before, but odds are, you’ve lost the battle the same amount of times. It can be hard to stay disciplined for more than a few weeks at a time, and with all of the other priorities in life, it can be hard to set aside enough time to really stay committed. But the truth is that maintaining your health is just a matter of setting realistic goals. So long as you keep your eye on the prize and pace yourself, you can meet all of your fitness goals without killing yourself. It’s just a matter of not being too hard on your body or your self esteem. Here are some tips and tricks on how to set realistic fitness goals.

  1. Start small. One of the biggest mistakes that most people make when they try to get in shape is that they push themselves way too hard, way too fast. If you do this, you will be so wiped out from your first workout that you won’t want to exercise for weeks. So be sure to take the amount of exercise that you’re currently doing and just push yourself a bit harder than you normally do. This will be enough to get you excited and proud of yourself, but not so tired that you feel too intimidated to get back to it.
  2. Pace yourself. When you set goals for yourself, you want to give yourself time to accomplish them. Think about it like paying off your student loans. It would nice to get it all over with as soon as possible, but it’s simply not possible. If you just do a little at a time you will get there eventually. If you’re meeting your goals each week with ease, you can always decide to increase your challenges faster than you had previously assumed. You just don’t want to set them too high and then disappoint yourself.
  3. Track your progress. You’re going to want to set goals for each workout you do. If you’re working out at Orangetheory Fitness, you can set goals for the number of reps you do on each machine, the number of miles you run on the treadmill, or the number of pounds you press on the bench. Whatever those goals may be, you want to write them down in a notebook and track your progress after each workout. This will give you a solid understanding of your progress over time.
  4. Reward yourself. Feeling good and seeing results is a reward in itself, but you want to give yourself incentives to meet your goals. If you can’t kick your cravings for a hamburger, tell yourself that you can have one hamburger each week if you meet all of your exercise goals. It doesn’t matter how you reward yourself, you just want to take whatever it is that you’re worried about giving into and only allow yourself to indulge in it if you meet all of your other goals.