Tuesday 23 Sep 2014

Information and opinions presented here do not always represent the views of the American Heart Association.

Experience More—Set Challenging Goals

Published: 9:53 am CDT, June 25, 2012

If you read my post last week, you are familiar with setting manageable goals for yourself in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the thought of exercise. But what about those people who continually set goals they can achieve in order to remain comfortable and successful? Well, today’s post will address just that. Since every one of us is different, there are a lot of different ways to approach diet and exercise—I could never make a blanket statement and expect it to apply to the entire U.S. population. That is why this week I want to address being too comfortable.

People are proven to be more successful when they set challenging and specific goals for themselves. – National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

If you are consistently setting vague goals and/or goals that you know you can already achieve, you don’t have much motivation to work any harder than you already are. This is a problem because in order to stay fit, you must constantly challenge your body. The body adapts to stresses placed upon it, therefore it is important to change your workout and your adjust your goals, thus enabling you to reach a higher level of fitness.

Setting specific, challenging goals helps enable you to work harder and gives you a greater sense of accomplishment once the goal has been reached. Even better, set goals which require measurable results. For example “I’m going to lose 7 lbs. by August 22nd” is a better goal than “I’m going to lose weight.” Your goals should be reasonable, but they should also be difficult—requiring you to work outside of your current comfort zone in order to attain them.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. – Frank DeVito

If you are someone who lives in that so-called “comfort zone”, I encourage you to break out of it. Although intimidating at first, setting a higher standard for yourself will help change your body and change your mind, helping you experience an increased sense of accomplishment and pride in a tough job well done.

Help hold yourself accountable for your goals by writing them in the comments below! People who write down their goals and share them with others are proven to be more successful in accomplishing what they set out to do! We’re here for you as we all fight for happier, healthier lives!

Peace, love and challenging goals,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT

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The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.

  • http://www.focusbalancecreate.com shellie

    My goal is to work out at least 4 times a week (with a newborn in the house)! That’s challenging, but doable.

    I can totally relate to what you said about creating manageable goals for yourself in the beginning…a couple of years ago I was really out of shape and I wanted to start exercising regularly, but could not get my head around the big time commitment and my schedule. I slowly added 1 day a week yoga classes, then after two weeks added one additional day of walking on the treadmill, by the end of that year I was up to 1 yoga, 2 nights jogging and 2 nights at bootcamp! Once you get over that hump of making it part of your schedule…it is easier than you think to accomplish an hour a day!

    Great post, thanks!