How do you Set and Achieve Goals?

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Fitness Victories-script

For Now, For Always by Stephanie Nickel

Recently, I’ve been discussing fitness theory and how to put it into practice and how to stay active even when you’re away from home. Today I’d like to offer you encouragement for the long haul.

And that’s what it takes: a lifelong commitment to fitness.

You may have seen the YouTube video about Ernestine Shepherd, the world’s oldest female bodybuilder. Let’s just say, I was inspired. Talk about motivating!

While I’ll never be as committed to routine as Ernestine, she has given me a proverbial kick in the backside. No excuses! That’s for sure.

Just because this record-holder has nothing to be concerned about from me doesn’t mean I’m not going to celebrate even the little victories: drinking more water, walking even three times per week, completing my resistance workout when I don’t feel like it, losing 5 of the 30 pounds I’d like to shed, etc.

Every victory is just that, a victory. It isn’t something to be downplayed or ignored. But neither is it a reason to “rest on our laurels,” as it were.

Set a fitness goal. Achieve it. Celebrate it. Set a new goal. Get at it once again. Repeat.

How do you set and achieve goals?

1. Set a long-term goal (say, eat well six days a week). And don’t forget to write it down and post it where you will see it often.

2. Break it down into smaller goals. (For example, “I will eat well twice this week, three times next week, etc.”)

3. Celebrate at the end of the first successful week/time period—with a non-food reward.

4. Ramp it up and do even better next time.

5. If you fail to achieve your goal in the set amount of time, don’t give up. Re-evaluate whether you need to tweak the goal—or intensify your efforts.

Ideas for Non-Food Rewards

  • a new exercise DVD
  • dance lessons
  • a day trip to your favourite location for a photo walk
  • a new cookbook (or any book, really)
  • a new journal and pen to keep track of your fitness goals and successes as well as your exercise routines/physical activities and meal plans

Everyone is unique with unique health concerns. Before beginning or changing an exercise routine, check with your doctor. The suggestions in this article are for information only and are not meant to replace professional medical, nutritional, and/or fitness advice. Readers implement this information at their own risk.


Staying fit is a lifelong endeavour. (tweet this)


Check out other articles by Stephanie

18 Little Victories Worth Celebrating

Setting Yourself up for Success

How do we Make Healthy Changes?


Stephanie Nickel


Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

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