How to set a goal and create an action plan
At Bold, we talk a lot about the different types of exercise goals and the importance of setting goals that are realistic, specific, and important to you. We’re also fans of the three-step habit loop (1. cue 2. routine 3. reward) which you can leverage to form positive habits.
Now, it’s time to put this all together and think about what your goals are and the steps to get there. This process is called creating an action plan, a step-by-step guide you create that will help you achieve your goals.
Below, we’ll go through five simple steps to help you create your action plan. Then, you will have the opportunity to create your own official action plan!
Step 1: Establish your baseline
The first step of your action plan is to establish your current fitness level and abilities. While you likely have an idea of your current fitness, it is important to have objective, baseline measurements so that you can accurately assess your progress.
Bold takes care of this for you on our platform. We offer three fitness assessments: Strength, Mobility, and Balance that provide fitness scores you can refer to when making realistic, specific goals that are important to you. All three assessments together take less than five minutes to complete. Depending on your specific goals, you may want additional assessments (for example, weight).
Step 2: Design your exercise program
Once you know your baseline, the second step is to design an exercise program that works for you. Don’t worry, Bold takes care of all of that for you based on your survey responses, baseline assessments, and preferences.
However, on days when you’re not using Bold, we recommend that you still engage in low-impact physical activity such as walking, swimming, or other movement (ex: gardening, dancing), so it’s good practice to plan out what you will do on those non-Bold days. Think about your schedule, your preferred activities (what do you genuinely enjoy doing?), and if there are any friends or family members who you can exercise with.
Step 3: Assemble your equipment
If you are exercising at home, many people find it helpful to set up a workout area. This can help you stay focused, and visualize your space. At Bold, we let you know what you need for each class but we always have options for not using additional equipment too.
Step 4: Get moving
The most important part of the action plan...actually doing it! Keep the following tips in mind as you embark on your exercise program:
- Start slowly and build up. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your mind and body in the first week or two.
- Build in those habit loop techniques. Create cues and rewards around the exercise itself.
- Be kind to yourself. Remember, it’s not always black or white. If you skip a day, it doesn’t mean that you should just give up. Keep the bigger picture in mind and remember that it’s a journey that you are doing out of self-compassion.
- Be flexible and listen to your body. Pay attention to the feedback your body is giving you (ex: the workouts feel way too hard or too easy) and be ready to adjust your plan as necessary. It may take a little while to find the rhythm and routine that works best for you.
Step 5: Maintain and track your progress
Maintenance is just as important as starting, yet it never receives as much attention. Keeping yourself motivated is crucial for being able to make long-term changes and see significant progress. We highly recommend that you track your fitness progress every 6-8 weeks through the strength, mobility, and balance assessments on Bold’s platform and by monitoring your weekly minutes of physical activity.
If you find yourself losing motivation, try setting new goals or try new activities. Changing your environment (for example, exercise outdoors instead of indoors) or getting a friend to workout with you can be highly motivating. Don’t expect progress overnight, but over time, notice the improvements in your fitness and overall health and celebrate them.
If you’ve read through these five steps, then it’s time to make your action plan! Check out our action planning template with additional instructions.