Two women shake hands during an outdoor training break.
How to set and achieve new training goals
How to set new goals and achieve them - by Thordis Berger.
Published ON
April 20, 2022

Many of us decide to eat healthier and exercise more, but it is never easy to change our habits, especially permanently. Most of the time we know how we should change our daily routine, but the difficulty lies in actually doing it. That it is so difficult to become more active is mainly due to our complex everyday life: we have a lot to do, rarely enough time and habits are hard to change. So how can we achieve our goals? Small, simple changes are easier to incorporate into everyday life. This is how we create new patterns of behavior that consolidate over time. Don't take on too much at once, because that will only lead to disappointment in the end. Long-term lifestyle change is unlikely if you try to change multiple habits at the same time.

Ein Personal Trainer zeigt seiner Klientin während des Trainings in einem Premium Fitness Club etwas auf einem Tablet.

Take small steps

At the beginning, take on only one or two behavior patterns that you would like to change. These should be changes that are so small that you hardly notice them.

Be more active at work by doing the following, for example:
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Believe it or not, climbing stairs burns more calories than jogging!
  • Go to your colleagues in person instead of sending them an email.
  • Park farther from the office, get off a bus stop earlier, or take a detour when walking to work.
  • Take a walk after lunch, or have lunch at a place farther from your office and walk there.
  • Conduct meetings while walking instead of sitting in the conference room.
  • Make phone calls while walking or standing.

Furthermore, your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and achievable in a set period of time.For example: Going to the gym twice for 30 minutes in the next week, or increasing your daily step count by a few thousand steps.

Motivation is crucial

With the right drive, you can achieve (almost) anything. However, it can't be forced, especially at times when we're stressed, tired, or even just bored. In this case, some accountability helps.Tell someone about your diet and exercise plans, and keep that person informed of your successes - or failures. Create a kind of diary in which you record your habits and thereby see to what extent you are getting closer to your goal. In such a diary you can write down everything that helps you to reach your goals, or you can simply use it to observe your behavior patterns (fluid intake, calories, training, etc.). You can easily count steps with a pedometer on your smartphone or a fitness tracker. You'll see that climbing stairs and taking a 25-minute walk after lunch will make the number skyrocket.

Find like minded people

Whether you love competition or are more of a team player, setting goals together with others boosts motivation. Most exercises are also suitable for groups. Tackling things together is not only more fun, but also increases the likelihood that you'll stay on the ball for a long time.

Find out what suits you best

Sports should not become a chore, but fun. How about a twice-weekly dance class at the gym, for example? Find something that you really like and motivates you to stick with it.

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