How to Set Fitness Goals

The National Institute on Aging shared that many people find that having a firm goal in mind motivates them to move ahead on a project. Goals are most useful when they are specific, realistic, and important to you. Be sure to review your goals regularly as you make progress or your priorities change.

Download and use the Goal-Setting Worksheet to document where you want to be in both the short and long term.

Write Down Your Short-Term Fitness Goals

Short-term goals will help you make physical activity a regular part of your daily life. For these goals, think about the things you’ll need to get or do in order to be physically active. For example, you may need to buy walking shoes or fill out an Activity Log so you can figure out how to fit physical activity into your busy day. Make sure your short-term goals will really help you be active. Here are a few examples of short-term goals:

  • Today, I will decide to be more active.
  • Tomorrow, I will find out about exercise classes in my area.
  • By the end of this week, I will talk with my friend about exercising with me a couple of times a week.
  • In the next 2 weeks, I will make sure I have the shoes and comfortable clothes I need to start walking for exercise.

Write Down Your Long-Term Goals

After you write down your short-term goals, you can go on to identify your long-term goals. Focus on where you want to be in 6 months, a year, or 2 years from now. Long-term goals also should be realistic, personal, and important to you. Here are a few examples:

  • By this time next year, I will swim 1 mile three times a week.
  • Next summer, I will be able to play pitch and catch with my grandchildren.
  • In 6 months, I will have my blood pressure under control by increasing my physical activity and following my doctor’s advice.
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