Keys to successful goal setting:

Set specific, realistic goals. Any goal you set, fitness, personal or other, should be realistic.  You should not aim lose 20 pounds in 30 days because it is unrealistic and you are setting yourself up for failure.  Instead, set smaller achievable goals, like 1 lbs per week or 3-4 pounds per month. The safest types of weight loss programs are going to suggest that you lose 1-2 pounds per week. However, fitness and health goals do not have to revolve around weight loss.  Being able to do a ‘real’ pushup by the end of a month is a great goal, or sticking to your exercise schedule (3, 4, 5 times/week) for one entire month is another example.  In addition, instead of focusing on weight (which depends on many factors outside of how much we eat and exercise) focus more on body fat percentages.  There are many devices available in fitness stores or pharmacies that measure body fat.

Put a distinct deadline to achieve your goal by. This creates a sense of urgency and forces you to stay the course.  You are less likely to allow things to interfere if you have a specific, achievable goal that you need to accomplish in a certain time period.  Make the deadline be an important date or event to you so that if you miss the goal, it’s a big deal.  For example, don’t just say, “I want to lose 10 lbs by summer”.  Say, “I want to be at ___ % body fat by my beach vacation in July”.

Create a support structure. Your fitness instructor is the first person you should tell. In addition, tell everyone, this means co-workers, family, friends and anyone else who can help you with your goal.  Be sure to tell those people who are most likely to hold you accountable.  If your mom says “Oh, you don’t need to lose any weight”, then, sorry, but she’s not part of your support structure!  You need help to achieve your goals and anything that isn’t helping is hurting your ability to hit that goal.  Try your best (and your instructor can help with this) to find a boot camp classmate and ask him/her for help too.  Chances of success are significantly higher if you can find someone in your class that has the same or similar goals as you; you can work towards those goals together and support each other daily.

Be Patient. There will be set backs.  There will be times when you don’t see what you think you should see and when things aren’t easy.  This is when most give up because it’s easier to quit than to persevere.  You have to remember; if you are doing all the right things, including being consistent with your workouts (and being honest with yourself) you WILL see the results.

Set yourself up for success. Think about the things that you do or don’t do on a daily basis that help or hinder your success. If you need to cut out the sugar in your diet, then stop buying the sodas and cookies. As a matter of fact, go home tonight and throw all the sweets and bad food away, PERIOD, no excuses. In two weeks, I promise, you won’t crave it anymore.

If you travel a lot, look for a hotel with a workout facility or a pool, and take clothes and a workout program (which can be provided by your SFC trainer) that you can use while away.

If you are enrolled in Boot Camp, don’t let things like bad weather, heavy workloads or laziness get in the way of reaching your goals. Get into a routine and stick with it because a routine will keep you in line and focused.  Breaking your routine will make you feel guilty, and guilt is an excellent motivator.  Make smart decisions and set yourself up for success!