When life is filled with uncertainty, it’s hard to make plans and set goals for the future. Staying active and healthy is important. So here are a few suggestions on how to set fitness goals when things around you keep changing:
Focus on process goals instead of outcome goals.
Rather than setting a goal that’s based on an outcome, focus on the process. For example, an outcome goal might be setting a new back squat PR. If you’re not sure if you are going to have access to a barbell and weights, this could be frustrating to work toward right now. So try shifting your focus to a process goal. For example, “My goal is to work out four days this week for 60 minutes.” Then, you have some flexibility on the workouts you do on each of the four days. It might be a virtual or in-person group class, an outdoor workout, a bike ride, or a jog around your neighborhood.
Set a goal based on a fitness skill or specific movement.
Is there a particular skill or movement that you’ve been meaning to work on? Now could be your opportunity. It could be a fitness skill, like improving your flexibility or speed. Or maybe it’s a specific movement, like increasing the number of push-ups you can do from your toes. Choose a skill or movement that you can work on from pretty much anywhere. Then work this goal into your workout routine and make a plan for how you will incorporate it. For example, suppose your goal is to improve your flexibility. In that case, you could spend ten to fifteen minutes after your workouts stretching.
Think of short-term goals that are within your control.
When things are changing all the time, it might be helpful to set short-term goals. Instead of thinking about where you want your fitness to be in a few months, break that time into smaller chunks. Focus on goals that you can set for the next month or even week. Rather than putting your energy into something that is out of your control (like training for a future event or competition that may or may not happen), keep your timeline focused on what you can control in the near future.
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