Question number 1 when you take on some kind of new challenge. Paul(above) goal was to lose 4 stone, he smashed that out the park and lost much more!
However goal setting is rarely this straightforward. From my side as a coach there are 2 major problems we see when trying to help people set goals:
1- They aren't sure what's realistic.
Most people don't know how long it will take to manage a Pull Up, do 10 press ups or lose a stone. Therefore they don't have a time frame on the goal which as we know makes it much less likely we will achieve it.
This is where working with a professional or using frameworks like S.M.A.R.T Goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound) can come in handy.
2- What you say the goal is, isn't really.
This IMO happens for two reasons. The first is that people make up a goal because they feel under pressure to have one or you feel like X(Weight loss, muscle gain etc) 'should' be your goal based on what society is telling you.
Believe it or not it's okay to have no specific goals. Lots of people come to us because they just want to be generally fitter and healthier while improving their quality of life.
This then means that when they DO have a goal(a 10K, Weight gain target etc) they have laid the foundations to make achieving the goal as easy as possible.
The second reason is that our goals are too 'surface level'.
The most common reason we hear for people exercising is unsurprisingly weight loss. Many people even put a number on it like losing a stone in 2 months.
Let me tell you something. You don't want to lose a stone, you want to:
1- Feel better about yourself.
2- Not cringe when you see photos.
3- Be comfortable sitting at the beach.
4- Feel comfortable moving/walking about day to day.
5- For your partner/others to find you attractive.
There's probably a few more too.
Now yes...these stem from losing weight however when we actually delve into them it gives us a much greater purpose. Being a stone lighter doesn't actually mean as much to you as not cringing when you look back at your wedding photos in 10 years time.
I also think(fitness wise) we should separate goals into 3 Pillars:
All the above. Gain muscle, tone up etc.
Manage 10 press ups, run a 5k, deadlift your bodyweight etc.
Sleep better, not be in as much pain, be able to bend down without creaking etc.
This way we will start looking at stuff on a broader spectrum rather than a number on the scales, believe me these goals also help massively with motivation.
Im going to sign out with the best quote I've heard this week. It's from a guy called Alex Hormozi.
'If you need perfect conditions to start it means your success is conditional. If you want unconditional success, then be willing to start under any circumstance. That includes the one your in right now...'
Basically. Get started. Time passes whether we make a start on our goals or not.