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Setting Goals - Build the Walking Habit


Updated June 03, 2012

The essentials of a good fitness goal are:
  • Realistic:The goal should be challenging, but realistically achievable. Don't set you sights too low, but also don't set yourself up for failure.
  • Measurable: Your goal should be stated in a way that can be measured. How many miles a week? How many pounds or inches to lose? What 10K distance time? Finishing a marathon by what date?
  • Dated: Set dates by which you will attain the goal and intermediate goals along the way.
  • Written down: Your goal should be made concrete so you can review it.
  • Track your progress: Keep your goal in sight and see what steps you are making towards attaining it.
  • Celebrate success: Along the way when you reach new milestones, it is time to celebrate. And when you achieve your overall goals, don't hold back - reward yourself.

Setting realistic and measurable goals:You will have to know how fit you are now and what is possible. For weight loss, do not set a goal of losing more than 1-2 pounds a week or 5-10 pounds a month, and plan for plateaus along the way. For increasing speed and distance, plan for increasing no more than 10-15% a week in order to prevent injury and allow muscles to repair and build. Visit our Fitness Toolbox for fitness analysis and our Weightloss Toolbox for calculators for basal metabolic rate, calorie burning, meal planning and more.

Dating Your Goals:One of the best ways to set a date in concrete is to apply it to a major walking event. If you want to be able to walk a certain distance or have a speed goal, find an upcoming walking event and register for it. Walking Event Calendarsand Marathon Calendars. Not only will this make the goal concrete, it will also reward you for attaining it, especially if you register for an event at a great destination you've been wanting to visit.

Goal Form: Record your Goals

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