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Goals or no goals?

Posted by Kim N.

All of the schooling and training that I've been through stress the importance of setting fitness goals. The argument is that in order to monitor progress, goals need to be set. They are also supposed to serve as motivators. But, what if they just stress you out? As a previous fitness nut, I used to set goals all of the time, and you know what? They worked. I worked and worked to reach those goals and they did what they were supposed to. But now, as a working adult, balancing the daily stresses of family, bills, work, stresses, etc..., setting goals now seems to lead to only disappointment. Instead of being happy that I can go out and get a 30 minute run in, I feel guilty that it's not an hour like I used to run. It's been a fight within myself to allow myself to not go at the level that I used to. What's wrong with going for a 30 minute run? Nothing, in fact, now I'm happy about it. Some would say...adjust your goals. But, then if I set the goal of getting 3 runs in a week, I feel extremely guilty when I get home at midnight after a full-day of work, and it doesn't happen. My point of all this rambling is this: whatever works for you. For some, goals work great (like they used to for me). But for others, maybe goals are too much. Exercise should not be stressful. It should elevate stress! I get in workouts when I can and I'm happy with that. Hopefully you're able to find a balance as well.
Answers (2)
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Not everyone wears the same shoe, and not everyone takes to goals the same way. For those who have a hard time with goals, maybe just starting with one will help with feeling too pressured. Stick with it until the day you realize that it's become just part of your routine.
This is something I've thought about and struggled with for a long time. And here's the goal I've set for myself: Include a reasonable amount of exercise in my life, being moderate, healthy and balanced.
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