Windsurfing: set your goals and live your life | Photo: PWA/Carter

Do we really need to set a specific goal for working out? Health promoter and author Henrik Beyer answers the classic question.

Since Aristotle set up gymnasiums around 460 BC, we have looked for the quickest and the best way to get stronger and fitter with the goal of performing better in sports.

Windsurfers are no exception to this phenomenon. Specific performance-related goals can obviously be necessary for professional windsurfers.

But setting specific goals may also create a culture of competition where it is not needed.

Windsurfers, in general, may not be motivated by performance-based goals even if they help them on their way to greater health and sailing fitness.

We have work demands, personal obligations, and targets, along with personal needs in our daily lives.

Adding physical fitness goals to our agenda may overwhelm or discourage individuals when things get complex in life.

"If windsurfers use fitness goals, they need to be adjusted to the winds of change in our personal and professional daily life," says Henrik Beyer, author of "Health & Fitness for Windsurfing."

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related

The "SMART" goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related.

"SMART" goals are used to assist people in setting health and fitness desires.

Instead of only focusing on, for example, running X miles per week, lifting Y amount of weight in a particular exercise, or getting stronger legs, windsurfers can benefit from setting objectives that also include:

  1. Being able to balance work and family demands;
  2. Having fun when working out and sailing;
  3. Establishing a habit of working out;

4. Avoiding overemphasizing short-term goals;

Following a physical fitness program or simply exercising now and then should be rewarding itself, just like windsurfing with your friends.

In conclusion, a smart goal is adjusted to the individual sailors' life circumstances, along with his/her physical and emotional needs.

Goals should be continuously reset and adjusted according to the realities of life.

Fitness goals are there to inspire and motivate us, not to put us down when our everyday lives get complicated.

However, sometimes, having no more aim or goal than the actual doing is a good enough goal.

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