How often have you started an exercise routine only to give up within a couple of weeks? The chances are that this has probably happened to you quite a few times and, statistically speaking, you’re certainly not alone. It seems that the majority of people find it incredibly difficult to stick with any kind of fitness regime. But why is this? Is exercise so unpleasant that people would simply rather not bother? Well, no actually. Most information shows that people actually feel incredibly positive during and after exercising. It releases endorphins and other chemicals that make you feel pretty great. So then why do so many people give up? Well, there are plenty of reasons, and everyone is unique, but there’s one thing that a lot of people who give up on exercise have in common: a lack of goals. Without a clear goal in mind, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you’re running in place (and not on the treadmill). Having something that you can aim for is often the difference between giving up after a week or two and being able to really commit to making a positive change in your life. Still not convinced? Well, here are just a few reasons why having a clear goal can make all the difference to your exercise routine.
You know what kinds of workouts to do
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they start exercising is not knowing what they should be doing. People often just assume that as long as they’re doing a bit of cardio here and some weight training there, then they’ll get the results that they want. The problem with that is that at best they’re doing things very inefficiently and at worst they’re actively working against what they want. Just saying, “I want to get fit” doesn’t actually tell you much about what you want to get out of your workout. Think about the kind of body that you really want. When you do that you can find a guide to getting it. You’ll often be able to find specific types of exercise and dietary requirements to achieving the kind of body that you really want.
It keeps you motivated
When you have a goal in mind, you’re able to see your milestones much more clearly. This means that you’re far less likely to get discouraged. Part of the reason that many people quit going to the gym after only one or two weeks is that they can’t see results right away, so they give up. It can feel pointless in the beginning because it’s hard to see that the exercise is actually doing you any good. By thinking about your goals and the body that you want to achieve, you’re much more likely to be able to break through that frustration and stay motivated. Then, over time as you start to see some results, you’re much less likely to stop, because you’ll know that you still have a way to go before you reach the kind of body that you really want. Without a goal, you can easily tell yourself that something is “good enough,” but if you have something to aim for, then it’s far easier to stay committed.
It helps you keep your expectations in check
The other side of not being able to see the kind of results that you want is that it can be incredibly discouraging if you don’t feel as though you’re getting as much out your workout as you should. A lot of people feel as though they should be building up some serious muscles right away. Because of this people often push themselves way too far which is not only ineffective but can actually be dangerous. If you push yourself beyond your body’s natural limits, then you run the risk of ending up severely injured. Having a goal in mind helps you to understand how best to workout in order to achieve it, as well as how long that will take. That way you’re not going to end up going too far and hurting yourself. Remember, there’s a big difference between pushing yourself to your limit and pushing yourself way past your limit.
Of course, setting goals doesn’t just apply to exercise. It applies to just about every aspect of your life whether that’s work, savings, travel, you name it! But when you’ve got something like exercise, which is so easy to give up on, it really does pay to keep your goals in mind and never lose sight of them.