Is having a fitness goal so important that you’re just f***ing around and cursed to an eternity of just spinning your tires by not having one?
Well… yes and no.
Generally for people that want to lose body fat or gain muscle, they don’t need to come to the decision that they want to lose body fat after hours of careful of reflection. Instead, they look in the mirror and go “I think I’d like to be a little bit leaner”. Or “ya know… more muscle would look good on my frame”.
There are definitely some exceptions to this…but generally, if you have a visual goal, you already know what it is.
If you’re not motivated at all by losing fat or building muscle, there is nothing wrong with that.
If your motivation is that you like to exercise and want to receive the health benefits from it, your indifference towards seeing visual changes is not going to magically undo the benefits.
You should absolutely positively have a goal. But that goal doesn’t need to be a goal that can be measured in the classic fitness sense. Identify what your goal is – whether that is to lose fat or just to make exercise a habit – and then figure out how to track your success with that goal.
If you’re motivated by fat loss, you’re going to have to employ some body fat testing, weighing, and/or circumference measuring. And you should ideally make concrete bench marks with realistic timeline, such 3 lbs of fat loss in January.
If you’re motivated to simply get some other less measurable goals from exercise, instead employ purely tracking tools that you keep you focused on accomplishing the process rather than the end result. You don’t need to test your body fat, but you probably should keep track of how many workouts you do each month. You want to make sure you’re being consistent enough and putting in enough time to get a solid dose of benefits. Set a goal of workouts per month or per week and go after it.
You can also identify an exercise that you find enjoyable and create a performance goal with it, such as time to run a mile or a weight used for a particular exercise. Focusing on performance can be a very fun and rewarding path.
In summary – everyone has a goal in the true definition of the word. An objective. A desire. Not everyone is going to have the same types of quintessential ‘fitness’ goals. And that’s totally fine.
Identify what it is that inspires you at the moment and figure out how you can best measure your steps to accomplishing that goal, so you can make sure you’re on the best possible path towards achieving it.