When you embark on a new journey to accomplish a fitness goal, it’s usually a good idea to come up with some goals to hit. Without goals, you have no direction. This means any method will get you to your destination because, well, you don’t have a destination. You’re [working out, eating better, getting more steps] just… because.
But if thats the case, how do you know you’re successful?
Starting a new health and fitness regimen without goals is a surefire way to stay in a continual state of not knowing if you’re actually doing anything of value.
But when it comes to goal setting… which is more important? Short or long term goals?
Long term goals are the success stories you hear about. They are the impressive before and after photos, the video you post performing that monumentally difficult exercise, and the pants you pose with to show just how far you’ve come.
Without a long term goal, you’d have nothing big to strive for. These big and lofty goals give you something to look forward to, something to reference every time your dedication or confidence starts diminishing. Long term goals are the sole reason you are doing what you’re doing.
Long term goals are your ‘why’.
Your why is what drives you, what keeps you going. If you’ve ever read “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek, you know just how big of deal this is.
Without a ‘why’ behind your goal(s), you’re just hopeless and clueless.
Ok, long term goals are obviously important, but what about those short term goals?
Long term goals might be your driving force, but short term goals are the attainable and achievable steps you’ll need to take to get there.
You ever eat an elephant?
God, I hope not. But just stick with me.
If I asked you to eat an elephant, how would you do it?
Would you try to eat it in one bite? I mean, you could certainly try… but you’d fail. Miserably.
The likelihood of you achieving your long term goals without first setting up several short term goals is pretty slim. Continually achieving small, compounding victories is by far the most effective way to crush a long term goal.
So the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
And of course we don’t actually want you to eat an elephant. Don’t be a weirdo and try and order prime elephant meat off the internet. Unless you want the FBI and PETA kicking down your front door.
Short term goals are your stepping stones to a better you. They are the snowballs that roll downhill and continue to grow in size and gain momentum.
Short term goals are your ‘1% better every day’ moments. On their own, they might not be worth posting about on social media, but if you regularly achieve enough of them, you can bet your sweet ass you’ll have something worth bragging about after a while.
So when you sit down to map out your goals, here’s what to do.
Set 2 long term goals: 1 reasonable goal and 1 stretch goal.
The reasonable goal is what you’ll set out to hit from the start. The stretch goal increases your chances of hitting your original goal because even if you fail to reach it, you’ll still have kicked a lot of ass on your way there.
“The best way to become a millionaire isn’t to try and accumulate $1 million. It’s to try and accumulate $10 million.” – Douglas Vermeeren, Guerilla Millionaire
From here, set a time frame to accomplish your long term goal.
When do you want to accomplish this by? 1 year from now? 6 months?
Once you have a time frame, set weekly (yes, weekly) short term goals from your start date until your end date.
These short term goals will be much smaller in terms what it’ll take from you because they are much more achievable.
From here all you have to do is focus on accomplishing each weekly goal. If you hit your weekly goals consistently, well, your long term goal is as good as accomplished! High five to you!
So at the end of the day, short term goals are the building blocks that support and serve as the foundation from which your long terms goals are built. You can’t have one without the other.