As I was looking over my calendar for 2020 this past weekend, I thought about how we (humans) sometimes use arbitrary dates for setting goals. Though I love the promise of a blank calendar at the beginning of a year, I am not (usually) one to delay starting a new goal until a new month or year begins.
How about you? How do you set goals? Do you like to start on the first or on a Sunday (or Monday)? Do you dive in when your energy and excitement are high, regardless of the day?
Now that the year is almost half over, I’m aware that my calendar color-coding has helped — if not to execute on projects as I had planned — at least to tell me quickly where I am focusing my energy. This, in turn, will allow me to make adjustments for the second half of the year.
Whether you are pursuing a fitness goal or another type of goal, getting clear on what it is you are aiming to achieve can help you in your quest. Do you want to build muscle so that you can lift 20 pounds easily? Do you want to run for 30 minutes without stopping? Do you want to walk for 20 minutes every weekday?
Once you clarify your specific goal(s), understanding your progress will allow you to move forward and make adjustments when necessary. Different types of goals may warrant the use of different tools, though the need to measure and evaluate your progress is universal.
Tracking provides concrete data about your progress in relation to the goal(s) you are working toward and analysis of the data collected can help you adjust your approach — or confirm that you are on track to reach your goal(s).
What fitness goal(s) are you working toward right now?
If your goal is vague and you aren’t sure how to track your progress, consider brainstorming and revising your goal to better define your desired outcome.
If your goal is specific, have you been tracking your progress?
What does the data tell you? Do you need to adjust your approach to reaching your goal?
How you define success is up to you. As you assess your progress, you will be better able to see what’s working and what isn’t, and take action, if you choose.