Sports Magazine

Why You Should Write Down Your Workout Goals

By Jessicashaw

Why You Should Be Writing Down Your Workout Goals

You already know that setting goals is important. Here’s why you should be writing down your workout goals.

We all have workout goals that we want to achieve.

For some of us they are as grand as mounting the podium at the Olympic Games, while for others it’s getting back into the habit of working out, or even just being more active. Wherever you fall on this scale, writing out your goals are imperative in order to seeing them through.

If you are fed up with half-assing your workouts, and want to get down to business destroying your workout routines on the regular, than step one is parking your butt into a chair and writing down precisely what is that you want.

After all:

Writing out your goals helps you to crystallize what you want.

Daydreaming about cool stuff is easy, but it lacks shape and more critically, any semblance of urgency. Written goals provide a sense of clarity that help to ignore distractions and other opportunities.

Writing out your goals in the gym will help give you an end point to start from.

Putting pen to paper has the effect of kick-starting your brain into working backwards to see what needs to be done. Steps, benchmarks and road posts start to come alive when we have a clear, visible goal on paper.

Perhaps the work to be done will force you to readjust the ambitiousness of your goal; no worries.

Having a realistic plan for your goals is one of the main things you need in order to sustain workout motivation over the long term.

Written fitness goals are more likely to encourage action.

Dreaming about our goals doesn’t force us into action. It’s not “real” enough.

By keeping our goals in the attic of our brain, shielded from reality, we are safe, free to adjust and procrastinate to our little procrastinating heart’s delight.

While writing out your goals won’t magically squash the procrastinator in you, it will nudge you forward.

Research done at the Dominican University of California sought to find out how effective goal setting was.

Those who wrote down their goals, put together a plan to achieve them, and had accountability in the form of emailing progress updates to a friend wildly out-performed those who just thought about their goals.

Written goals encourage commitment.

Sticking to something is hard as it is. We have all sorts of issues to contend with when trying to achieve some form of personal awesomeness in the gym—finding the time to work out, combating our cravings, overcoming setbacks and injury, and more.

Written goals are clear, and leave no room for ambiguity. Goals that we just think about can be easily debated and put off.

It’s funny to think that a piece of paper with some scribbled ink can force this kind of accountability on us, but when it’s written down in front of us it’s almost as though it’s no longer up for debate.

They help to keep you focused.

It’s almost as though we are stoked on being an OCD-ridden culture (look, a puppy!). No matter how psyched up a goal may have rendered us yesterday, it’s likely that a new opportunity or a shinier, newer goal will pop up tomorrow to sidetrack us.

As a result, we bounce around from goal to goal, never completing anything, becoming serial quitters along the way. Write out your goals and apply focus to it’s completion.

Seeing things through builds personal integrity and proof to yourself that you can do the things you set out to do.

Training goals keep you fired up in the short term.

Setting those big greasy long term goals isn’t much of a struggle for lifters and athletes. We can all immediately pick out a couple fantasy goals that we’d love to see come to pass.

It’s the short term, daily and weekly goals where most people stop short.

Writing out goals for the day, for the week, and for the month in your training journal can help you stay focused and motivated. Take a few moments at the beginning of the week and plan out your sessions, what you’d like to accomplish, how many sessions you want to hit, and so on.

The best part about writing out your workout goals?

It takes next to no effort.

Just the time necessary to put clear, actionable words to paper.

It’s the next part that is difficult, as we all know. Following through with it.

Write it down, put it somewhere clearly visible (on the fridge, if you are hurting with your food choices and want to get better), and repeat it to yourself each day to help keep you on track and focused.

Here are some resources to help you along your journey to crushing your workout goals:

The Ultimate List of Workout Routines. Our ever-growing list of workouts and training plans. Whatever your goal in the gym, there’s a workout here for you.

How to Get Back on Track in the Gym. Setbacks are inevitable. And believe it or not, they are both natural and okay. Here’s how to make sure you get back in the saddle quickly.

The Undeniable Power of Small Wins. Success in the gym and in life isn’t a result of grand, sweeping change. It’s chipping away daily at those “overnight” results.

The Routine is The Goal, Not the Results. When you stop thinking about the long term goals and start focusing on building a schedule and routine that delivers results big things start to happen. Here is how to get started on building a result-producing routine.


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