How to Set Short Term Exercise Goals

Setting Short Term Exercise Goals

I have started to exercise, but find myself falling off the wagon. Getting into a routine for exercise can be difficult until you form the habit, so setting goals is important.

When setting exercise goals, short-term goals are set in shorter time frames so they can be easily attained. Setting short-term exercise goals is a great way to increase motivation and form good habits.

Feeling lost on how to set these goals, and what kind are the best? Let’s dive into some tips and tricks to get you moving in the right direction to perfect your exercise goals.

Tips for Creating Short-Term Exercise Goals


Don’t stress, you got this! For short-term goals, it’s all about baby steps. Seeing goals in a shorter time frame will help you feel a sense of accomplishment, and motivate you to keep working on your exercise goals.

Set a Time Frame

Set a Time

Short-term exercise goals are supposed to be easy to attain. They will help you form good habits. An example here is setting a goal to work out twice a week

Baby steps! Everyone’s fitness journey will be different. It’s up to you to pick the best goal to achieve each week.

If you are a bit more experienced, maybe you bump that number up to 3 or 4 times a week to keep yourself in check. No matter your level, setting a certain amount of time aside to work out and sticking to it is an absolutely fantastic short-term exercise goal.



Again, this will be different for everybody. If your reason for exercise is to lose weight, perhaps you are already on a meal plan. Maybe you want to cut out carbs or lower your sugar intake.

Set a goal for the week to eliminate carbs, and stick to it. You aren’t going to be able to change everything overnight, so starting small will be helpful.

If totally cutting something out isn’t in the cards, while sticking to your weekly workout timeline, try to incorporate eating less of carbs or whatever it is you are trying to cut out of your diet to improve your fitness journey. If sugar is the focus, try cutting out soda or another sugary item to start moving in the direction you want.

Write It Down

Write Down Your Goals


Something I have found very beneficial for sticking to my short-term goals is using a visual device, such as a dry erase calendar. Being able to see your goals spread out on the calendar, and having a way to check them off will help with that sense of accomplishment we were discussing earlier. I prefer the visual to check off an item and hold myself accountable.

If the calendar doesn’t work for you, maybe a physical list, or a phone reminder to keep track of your goals and make sure you stick to them. Goals become real once they have been written down, and if you are setting more than one they will be easier to keep track of.

Try Something New

Try New Experience

If you are already a pro with exercising, a short-term goal can be to try something new.

If you are a runner, try yoga. If you are into yoga, try running. There is an endless amount of different types of exercise to switch things up.

Setting a goal to focus on another area of your body that you don’t usually focus on is another way to set a goal. If you are working on arm strength, try setting a goal to work on your core once a week.

If you’re a runner, sign up for a race of some kind to get out there and try something. Training for it, and the race itself, such as a 5k can be two separate goals!

Be Realistic 

Be Realistic

With short-term exercise goals, you want to be as realistic as possible. There’s nothing worse than setting a goal for yourself, and not achieving it. 

Not that it isn’t alright for that to happen once in a while! If you are just starting to exercise, you won’t be running a 5k at the end of the first week, so don’t make that a goal. Start with those baby steps to get into a groove, and find what you like.

If you are an experienced fitness person, maybe that 5k is realistic for the end of the week with proper training. Make sure you set the goals that pertain to you and your capabilities. Always make sure to safely practice any exercise, and don’t push yourself to do things you know you can’t.

Have Fun!

Have Fun!

Having exercise goals shouldn’t stress you out, it should be fun! The goals are put into place to improve your routine and stamina. Trying something new will be exciting, and you may find something else you enjoy.

Don’t push yourself short-term goals should increase over time and a good time frame for them to start would be one week. Having the goals in place will help you feel a sense of accomplishment.

We hope these suggestions help you on your exercise journey. Getting started with goals can be just as tough as sticking to them. Keeping these tips in mind should help you form goals that are suitable for you and your routine. 

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