7 Tips for Setting Achievable Fitness Goals

It would be fair to say that most people have started towards a fitness goal and not been able to reach it.  That’s because it’s not as simple as saying “I want” and getting.

There are a number of factors that stop from achieving our fitness aims, but focusing on them is counterproductive. Instead of looking at why we might not reach our goals, we’re going to talk about ways to create and smash achievable, realistic fitness goals.


  1. Make your goals specific

“I’d like to tone up” and “I just want to drop a few pounds” are not specific goals. Being more specific means you have something to focus on. These goals don’t necessarily have to be related to your physique; in fact it can put you in a better frame of mind if it’s not.

You can set goals like: being able to walk up the stairs without feeling breathless, clocking up 16 sessions in the gym this month, squatting your body weight. Losing body fat is just a bi-product of these goals.

  1. Avoid insanity

Don’t they say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. Doesn’t that mean it’s insane to go back to the same diets and training plans that never really worked and expecting it to work this time?

You see this all the time: people saying they are starting *insert commercial diet here* again and this time they just know they are going to to hit their target. Here’s a better idea: try something different. Try simply eating healthy and exercising instead of going on crash diets. Introduce weight training into your cardio queen routine.

We all hit plateaus so be prepared to change your training routine up every 6 weeks or so.

  1. Keep track of everything

How are you supposed to know if you are making progress if you don’t keep track?

Track your physical changes, workouts and food using an app or a diary. I use a day-per-page diary to track my workouts; the reason behind this is to see if I am getting stronger and fitter. I use my fitness pal to keep my food on track and once every four or five weeks I take my measurements to see if my efforts are ‘paying off’.

If you aren’t tracking things you can start to feel like you are just going through the motions and not actually getting anywhere.

  1.  Be open to change

Goals change the more, and the longer, we train. As you start to enjoy the challenge of fitness you will quickly see that your initial goal is just a starting point. Go in with the mindset that your goals might change, and that you will have to be open to trying different levels of intensity in order to reach your new goals. If you go in with the mindset that you are just going to do one thing and never change, you will never see the results.

Goals always hit roadblocks; whether it’s a metabolic plateau or, you, know, life that hinders your progress and often this means adaptation and a willingness to change lifestyle habits.

  1. Be Committed

If you really want to make a difference to your health and physique, there is no short cut, there is no easy way, there is only sheer commitment.

If you write your goals, make a food plan and schedule in your work outs you are more likely to stay committed to the cause. You have to realise that you will never reach your fitness or physical goals if you are qualifying reasons not to eat healthy and not to train.

How many times have you heard someone saying “I’m on a diet but I’m not depriving myself of biscuits and chocolate”; how successful where they in reaching their goal?

Treats and slip ups are part and parcel of a fitness program and willingness to accept that is a sign of mental strength; but having biscuits every night of the week and three takeaways at the weekend is not a slip up, or a treat. Be committed to your goal and you will achieve it.

  1. Don’t be embarrassed by it

If people know that you are working hard to get in shape it is easier to stay motivated and focus on your goal. A lot of people tend to be embarrassed by the fact that they are trying to be healthier, but it is something we should be proud. Take pride in the fact that you are trying to improve your health and making positive changes to your lifestyle.

Talk about things you learned about nutrition, join forums, set up a blog or an Instagram account; telling people about your achievements psychologically makes you want to achieve even more. You might even inspire one or two others to get going!

Most importantly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of your efforts! If people take issue with your pride, that is more of a reflection on them than it is on you.

  1. Leave the past behind you

One thing I always tell people is that it doesn’t matter what your previous efforts were like; whether you lied to get out of every PE class or you never so much as thought about entering a gym. You’re present is a desire to get fit and healthy and your future is a happier, more confident version of you; everything else is in the past.

When you are setting your goals don’t think about what you have never been able to achieve before, but rather what you would love to be able to achieve in the future.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge on how to set achievable, realistic goals, I would love for you to clear your mind of all can’ts, and start making note of your fitness objectives. What are your fitness goals? 

For more no-frills, no-fads Fitness and Nutrition advice, follow Claire’s blog voltafitness.co.


Claire Kane

Claire is Dolledup.ie's Community Manager. She has been a regular feature in Ireland's blogging community for years and is known to not mince her words! A passionate would-be-writer, culture vulture, professional marketer, fitness & health enthusiast with her finger in a few writing pies.