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Part of getting or staying in shape is setting fitness goals that are individually realistic. Everyone is different, so fitness goals should also differ from person to person. Some people will be able to endure longer and harder workouts, while others may need to build up their endurance and strength as time goes on.

With these things in mind, the first step to setting realistic fitness goals is to know your own strengths and limits. For someone who has not had a lot of prior experience with exercising, setting fitness goals will be more basic. These should be easy to achieve during the week and should gradually build up the body’s muscle and abilities.  For someone who has had experience through previous physical exercise, fitness goals should continue to tone and strengthen the body while also challenging preexisting skills. These goals should be more difficult than the basic goals and should target specific areas of the body to work on or actions to improve.

When a few goals have been chosen, the next step is to set a timeline or a schedule for the goals. Each individual should choose a timeline that will challenge them but which will also be practical. Consider the intensity of the goal and set an appropriate date or duration for that goal to last. For example, setting a specific goal could be to run for 30 minutes, three times a week, for a month long. Another type of time-constrained fitness goal is to lose a specific amount of weight by a certain date. For both of these goals, the individual should be sure that their goals are achievable, yet challenging. If goals are too hard, it is easy to give up on them; but if goals are too easy, then no real progress can be made.

Finally, consider what other the implications of fitness goals on other areas of life. If other changes need to be made to facilitate a fitness goal, factor those changes into the difficulty of that goal. Some goals may become too challenging if other changes are required to reach those goals. So do not overstress or overburden yourself with fitness goals. Start small and work up to bigger goals that challenge more than just fitness abilities. For example, goals to lose weight in a certain amount of time require both exercise and dietary adjustments.

So be realistic when setting fitness goals. Consider personal ability, time limits or objectives, and the effect of these goals on all areas of life before fully committing to them.