HomeHealth & Fitness5 Effective Ways to Set Personal Goals to Track Self-Progress

5 Effective Ways to Set Personal Goals to Track Self-Progress

As the seasons change and we’re nearing the halfway point of the year, now is a great time to revisit your goals and adjust them to what’s most important to you right now. This blog discusses why setting personal goals is essential for improving our fitness and how to set personal goals to track our progress.

By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clear understanding of:

  1. Why goals are important if we want to improve our gut health (and stay healthy long-term)
  2. A clear process you can use to set effective goals

Importance of Setting Personal Goals

Goals are crucial if you want to improve your health and fitness.

Many people struggle to stay on track with their good habits. We are sure you can relate to

  • starting a new workout program,
  • joining a gym, and
  • starting a new healthy diet

a bowl with egg and vegetables showing health diet food

Just to fall back onto old habits in a matter of weeks.

It’s hard to stick with our healthy habits. Many of us feel a lack of direction when it comes to improving our health, and as a result, get derailed easily.

It is proven that not having a clear plan makes it much harder to get motivated. Setting personal goals can provide direction and make reaching our goals much easier.

Here are 3 key reasons why setting goals to track self-progress is so important for improving our fitness:

3 Reasons to Set Personal Goals

1. Goals set a direction

“The value of our goals is not in what we accomplish, but in the direction they give us. Goals orient us towards what we’d like in life and give us a little kick in the ass to start moving towards it.” – Mark Manson

A goal is the end destination. You wouldn’t get into the car without knowing which direction to head. You also shouldn’t set out to improve your health without having a direction to go.

You’re much better off walking 1000 steps in one direction than 1 step in 1000 different directions.

2. Goals eliminate distractions

“The reason goal setting works so well is that by focusing on one particular pursuit or measurement, you become better at shutting out the things that don’t matter or don’t help you.” – Mark Manson

Having a goal for yourself makes it much easier to eliminate distractions that could sabotage your efforts.

You need to find a reason bigger than the pull to stay in bed, or to skip your workout, or to eat bad food.

Ashley Richmond’s first experience with improving her health came when she was trying to make the New Zealand ice hockey team.

“Making the team was my end goal, and nothing was going to stop me from pursuing that”.

She said no to anything that would keep her up past her bedtime because she knew how important sleep was to performance. She said no to unhealthy foods and had a relentless focus on eating high-quality, nutrient-dense foods.

Nothing could stop her from getting in her gym workouts, hill sprints, and conditioning sessions.

Having a big goal made everything easy. All she had to ask herself was “Will this help me achieve my personal goal?”

If the answer was no, then she didn’t do it.

Of course, we don’t always need to be this strict. But the core idea is important. Always consider whether a decision will help you reach your goal or whether it will hinder your progress.

3. Goals increase dopamine

“When we work hard toward an important goal—that is, when we pursue mastery—dopamine levels spike.” – Steven Kotler, The Art of Impossible

Dopamine is an incredibly valuable tool for increasing motivation. It is the molecule of more – it makes you want to continue doing something. This is why it’s so powerful.

If you can gain control over your dopamine system, you will experience unmatched levels of discipline. If you can train your brain to seek out triggers that will benefit your health, healthy habits become easy and sustainable.

Also, setting a fitness goal to track self-progress and working towards it (especially when we can see we’ve made progress) is a great way to increase dopamine.

Implementation of Setting Personal Goals

There are many goal-setting strategies out there. You’ve probably had to use some for school or work. If you have a goal-setting system that works for you, use that.

Otherwise, we are covering a simple way to set personal goals here. This is for every aspect of your life, not just health.

1. Illustrate your ultimate vision for your life

This could be 1 year from now or 10 years from now. It doesn’t matter. You want to write a paragraph or two about what your dream life looks like.

  • What time do you wake up?
  • What do you look like?
  • How do you feel?
  • Where do you live?
  • What’s your schedule like?

2. Extract goals and categorize them

Look at your big vision for your life.

See if you can extract some big goals and categorize them into health, wealth, and relationships (or whatever categories are meaningful to you – maybe personal and professional, or people’s favorite: love, growth, purpose).

Don’t worry about making these too specific.

3. Set your medium-term goals

Create a medium-term goal from each of your big goals. A medium-term goal is something you want to accomplish in the next year. Pick one for each category.

4. Set your monthly goals

From each of your medium-term goals, figure out what you need to achieve this month to be on track to reach those goals.

5. Create your daily action plan

From the monthly goals, figure out exactly what you need to do every day to reach that monthly goal. This is your daily action plan – the exact steps you need to take to be on track for your big vision.

Ending Note

Write these personal goals down. Put them somewhere you’ll see them. Remind yourself of them when things get hard. When it’s cold and you don’t want to get out of bed, remind yourself of why you’re doing this. When you can pick up fast food or go home and cook your own meal, remind yourself what you’re working towards.

These goals will help keep you on track and help you create your dream life.

Isabelle Catoni
Isabelle Catoni
Isabelle is a blogger and a professional SEO content writer. She has a degree in finance but her passion for playing with words forced her to become a writer. In her free time she loves exploring AI developments.


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