When life is full of uncertainty, is it even worth it to set fitness goals? Yes! No matter what obstacles you face, your health, fitness, and safety are always a priority.
It might seem strange to set goals when you’re not able to stick to workouts and routines that you’re used to. But with a few minor adjustments, you can still set meaningful goals that will provide you with a sense of purpose and, eventually, a sense of accomplishment.
Here are a few tips for fitness goal-setting when life is full of unknowns:
1. Set process goals rather than outcome goals.
When you’re dealing with a life full of uncertainty, it’s tough to set goals based on outcomes. Something beyond your control can end up affecting that outcome. For example, an event you were training for might be canceled. Or you may not be able to train with the specific equipment needed to reach your fitness goal. In these situations, it’s helpful to adjust your goals to focus on the process rather than an outcome. Rather than competing in a triathlon (an outcome-focused goal), you might change your goal to something like, “I’ll complete two swim, two bike, and two run workouts each week for the next four weeks.”
2. Focus on a specific skill or movement.
If your original fitness goal was to set a back squat or snatch PR, your training might be limited. Especially if you don’t have access to specific equipment, like barbells and weight stacks. Instead of setting a PR, you can pivot by focusing on skill and technique. Using even a piece of PVC pipe at home, you can work on improving your lifting technique.
3. Create goals with a short-term timeline.
Another tip for goal-setting when things keep changing is to keep your timelines short. Set goals that you plan to accomplish over the next month, two weeks, or even week. If you can, create short-term objectives that continue building on your previous goals. For example, if you want to improve your running fitness, you might start with a goal of running two miles, three days a week, for two weeks. Your next short-term goal might be running three miles, three days a week, for the following two weeks. Finding ways to improve on your previous objectives helps motivate you to keep moving and find ways to make progress.