When it comes to fitness, setting long-term goals is important. Since there’s a lot of talk about goals in the health and fitness world, I decided to give you all some long term fitness goal examples so you can understand the differences between short and long term goals. By having an end goal to work toward, you can stay motivated and accountable for the progress you make. It’s important to have an understanding of different types of goals and how to break them down into achievable steps.

Why long term fitness goals are important

Setting long term fitness goals is important for several reasons. Having a long term goal gives you something to work towards and helps to give you direction and purpose in your fitness journey. It gives you a clear target to focus on and motivates you to keep pushing forward.


Long-term fitness goals also help to keep you accountable. When you have a specific goal in mind, you’re more likely to stay committed to your fitness routine and make healthier choices. Knowing that you have a long term goal can make it easier to resist temptations and stay on track, even when you don’t feel like exercising or eating well.

Measure Progress

Long term fitness goals also help to measure progress. By breaking down your goals into smaller, achievable steps like SMART goals, you can track your progress along the way. This not only allows you to see how far you’ve come, but also provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts your confidence. You can read about SMART goals for nutrition here


Long term fitness goals also help to create a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. When you have a long term goal in mind, you’re more likely to make long-lasting changes to your habits and routines. It’s not just about reaching the goal, but also about developing a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain even after you’ve achieved your goal.

Purpose and Fulfillment

Long term fitness goals help to improve mental well-being in many ways. Not only does working towards a goal provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can have a positive impact on your mental health, but it also builds self-esteem and trust in yourself. It can reduce stress and increase overall happiness.

How to set achievable long term fitness goals

Setting achievable long term fitness goals is crucial for your success and overall satisfaction in your fitness journey. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Here are some tips to help you set realistic and attainable goals:

1. Identify your motivation

Take a moment to reflect on why you want to achieve a long term fitness goal. Is it for your health, to improve your self-confidence, or to challenge yourself? Understanding your motivation will help you stay committed when the going gets tough.

2. Be specific

Instead of setting a generic goal like “get fit,” be specific about what you want to achieve by setting SMART fitness goals. For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” you could say “I want to lose 20 pounds in six months.” Specific goals provide clarity and allow you to track your progress more effectively.

3. Break it down

Long term goals can feel overwhelming, so break them down into smaller, achievable steps. For example, if your goal is to hike Machu Picchu, you’re not going to head straight for that mountain. Start by setting a smaller goal, short-term fitness goals like shorter, less demanding hikes, and gradually increasing the distance over time.

4. Make it measurable

Create a system to track your progress. Whether it’s using a fitness app, a journal, or a wearable device, having measurable data will help you stay accountable and see how far you’ve come with your hard work.

5. Set a realistic timeline

Be realistic about the time it will take to achieve your goal. Setting unrealistic deadlines can lead to disappointment and discouragement. Remember, progress takes time, and it’s better to make gradual, sustainable changes rather than rushing towards a goal. Think about your current fitness level and talk to an expert about your action plan if you aren’t sure about realistic goals when it comes to your timeline.

6. Adapt and adjust

It’s important to be flexible and adaptable when working towards your long term goals. Life can throw curveballs, and it’s okay to modify your goals along the way. Listen to your body, make adjustments if necessary, and celebrate every milestone you reach.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to setting achievable long term fitness goals. Remember, it’s not just about the end result, but the journey towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. Stay motivated, stay focused, and never give up on yourself. You’ve got this!

Long Term Fitness Goal Examples:

Run a marathon

Running a marathon is an inspiring long term fitness goal. It requires dedication, training, and mental resilience. But the sense of accomplishment and the physical and mental benefits make it all worthwhile. It’s a great way to challenge yourself in many different ways.

To begin with, running a marathon is a goal that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. It requires committing to a structured training plan and gradually increasing your mileage over time. You will need to develop both endurance and strength to be able to run the 26.2 miles.

Setting the goal of running a marathon also provides a tangible target to work towards. You can set smaller milestones along the way, such as running a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon. These milestones will help you stay motivated and see your progress as you work towards the ultimate goal.

Running a marathon is not just about physical fitness; it also requires mental strength. During the training process and especially on race day, you will face moments of doubt and fatigue. However, pushing through these challenges and crossing the finish line will give you an incredible sense of achievement and boost your self-confidence.

Maste a specific yoga pose

When it comes to long term fitness goals, mastering a specific yoga pose can be a rewarding and challenging endeavor. Whether it’s achieving a perfect headstand, holding a flawless crow pose, or mastering a graceful backbend, working towards a specific yoga pose can provide a sense of accomplishment and progress in your yoga practice. It can help get you healthier along the way since it takes regular practice.

As you work towards your goal, you’ll notice improvements in your strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as a deeper understanding of your body and mind.

Breaking down the journey towards mastering a specific yoga pose into smaller milestones can help make the process more achievable. Start by understanding the alignment and technique of the pose. Then, work on building the strength and flexibility necessary to safely and confidently enter the pose. Set smaller goals along the way, like increasing your flexibility or holding a preparatory pose for a longer duration.

On top of physical progress, mastering a specific yoga pose also brings mental and emotional benefits. It requires focus, concentration, and mindfulness. As you practice, you’ll learn to connect with your breath, quiet your mind, and overcome any self-doubt or fear that may arise. This mental resilience and discipline will extend beyond your yoga mat, positively impacting other areas of your life as well.

Build muscle mass

When it comes to long term fitness goals, building muscle mass is a popular and worthwhile goal. Not only does it contribute to a stronger and more sculpted body, but it also has numerous health benefits. 

Setting the goal of building muscle mass requires dedication, consistency, and a well-designed workout program. It involves challenging your muscles through resistance training exercises like weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or using resistance bands. By progressively increasing the intensity and resistance of your workouts, you can stimulate muscle growth and development over time.

One of the key aspects of building muscle mass is proper nutrition. In order to fuel your workouts and support muscle growth, you need to consume a balanced diet that includes an adequate amount of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Protein is particularly important as it provides the building blocks for muscle repair and growth. Incorporating healthy sources of protein into your meals can help support your muscle-building goals and improve your health.

Remember, building muscle mass is a gradual process that requires consistency and patience. It’s important to set realistic expectations and understand that results take time. Progress may be slow at first, but by staying committed to your workout routine and maintaining a nutritious diet, you’ll start to see the fruits of your labor.

Increase flexibility

Increasing flexibility is an excellent choice among measurable goals. It’s challenging and takes quite a bit of time, consistency, and patience to achieve. Not to mention it is very beneficial to our overall health. Remember the importance of setting a realistic time frame because this goal in particular can take so much time to accomplish, depending on where you stand with your flexibility at the start. A daily routine is necessary to check the long-term objective of increasing flexibility.

When it comes to healthy habits, a daily stretching routine is an excellent habit to form. It will improve your performance in exercise and movement in daily life. It can reduce any pain you might have and increase your range of motion in ordinary functional movement. Start with a 5 minute daily stretch routine and work up to the next level with time, toward your bigger goal.  

Lose weight

If you have 20 pounds or more to lose, you can consider that a long term goal. Setting a realistic timeline is very important (I know, I keep saying that, but it’s important for all goals) because weight loss that is sustainable requires the formation of habits that create a whole new lifestyle. You can lose weight faster, but you won’t be able to keep it off without laying the foundation of a healthier lifestyle to support your weight loss. 

To lose 20 lbs, I would recommend a timeline of 4 to 6 months. Generally speaking, a good pace for weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week. But you will likely have some weeks when your weight doesn’t budge and you’ll have some weeks when life throws you for a loop and you need to get back on track. You want to set yourself up for success and help build your confidence in your ability, not put yourself in an impossible position to make progress consistently. 

Start with small goals like, “I will work out three days a week and increase my servings of vegetables to three servings a day.” Work up from there and don’t rush the process. Do what is manageable for you in your current circumstances. Take time to build the foundational habits that you must have in place to maintain your weight loss long term.

The Benefits of Tracking Progress Toward Long Term Fitness Goals

Tracking your progress towards long term fitness goals is not just a helpful tool, but it also has a lot of benefits. When you track your progress, you are able to see how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to achieving your long term fitness goals. This can provide a huge boost of motivation and keep you accountable to continue working towards your goals.

Measure Success

One of the main benefits of tracking progress is that it allows you to measure your success. By keeping track of your workouts, your weight, or your measurements, you can see the progress you’re making over time. This can be incredibly rewarding and help you stay focused and determined. It also allows you to make adjustments to your fitness routine if necessary. For example, if you notice that you’re not making as much progress as you’d like, you can reevaluate your approach and make changes accordingly.

Identify Patterns and Trends

Tracking progress also helps you identify patterns and trends. By recording your workouts, nutrition, and other factors that contribute to your fitness journey, you can start to see what is working for you and what isn’t. Maybe you notice that you feel more energized on days when you eat a certain type of breakfast, or that you perform better in the gym when you get enough sleep. These insights can help you make informed decisions and optimize your fitness routine.

Celebrate Victories

Another benefit of tracking progress is that it allows you to celebrate your victories, no matter how small. Sometimes we can get caught up in the long term goals and forget to acknowledge the progress we’ve made along the way. By tracking your progress, you can look back and see all the milestones you’ve achieved, which can boost your confidence and motivation.

Overall, tracking progress towards your long term fitness goals is a powerful tool that can keep you motivated, accountable, and help you achieve the results you desire. So, whether you use a fitness app, a journal, or another method of tracking, make sure to include this practice in your fitness routine. It’s not just about reaching the finish line, but also about enjoying the journey and celebrating your progress every step of the way.

Tips for Staying Motivated or Disciplined

Staying motivated when working towards long term fitness goals can be challenging. Motivation is great and when you feel it, you can make so much progress. But you can’t be motivated all the time, sometimes (most of the time) you have to rely on discipline.  Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

1. Remember your why

Remind yourself why you set your long term fitness goals in the first place. Whether it’s to improve your health, boost your self-confidence, or challenge yourself, keeping your motivation in mind will help you stay committed when faced with obstacles.

2. Surround yourself with support

Share your goals with friends, family, or a fitness community. Having a support system can provide encouragement and accountability. Joining fitness classes or finding a workout buddy can also help you stay motivated and committed.

3. Keep track of your progress

Use a fitness app, a journal, or a progress tracker to monitor your progress. Seeing your improvements can be a great motivator and will remind you of how far you’ve come. It can also help you identify any areas that may need adjustments in your fitness routine.

4. Reward yourself

Celebrate your achievements along the way. Treat yourself to something special when you reach a milestone or achieve a certain goal. This positive reinforcement will keep you motivated and excited to continue your fitness journey.


The goal-setting process is always the easiest part. For better results than you may have gotten in the past, be sure to set realistic fitness goals with realistic expectations about how your new habits will fit into your everyday life. If your main goal is to improve your overall lifestyle and live healthier and happier, take your time. The slower and more focused you are on learning how to care for yourself and build a solid foundation of healthy habits, the more likely you’ll be to have long term success. You’ve probably heard the saying, the time is going to pass anyway. You can spend it caring for yourself, or wishing that you had stuck with your plan and taken your time to build a lifestyle you can be proud of and that will keep you healthy and happy for a long time! The time to start is now!

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