Merriam- Webster tells us that the word telic is an adjective tending toward an outcome or result. It characterizes an action that moves toward a goal.

In any self – improvement venture, we must understand and implement goals. Otherwise, we are floundering.

The Psychology of Goals advises that ” Every moment of waking life, our behavior, thinking and emotions are oriented and regulated by goals“.

Paraphrasing Jenny McCoy and www.self.com, we must be realistic in setting physical fitness goals. Jenny advises that:

  • We should focus on one goal at a time. I am reminded of my esteemed tennis coach, who always told me to think of one small goal only during a competitive match.
  • Our goals are more achievable when they are personalized to our specific needs. Today, I have one primary fitness goal – to rehabilitate a right shoulder rotator cuff injury.
  • That one goal should be made measurable, specific and time-based.
  • The goal must be initially very attainable. This makes a lot of sense to me, since I am energized by reaching a goal and then setting a new one.
  • We must realize that some goals take time and demand our persistence. My shoulder injury is healing daily, but it may be a year before I am satisfied with the result of my rehab.
  • We must be flexible in defining successful goal completion. It is okay to change our concept of a completed goal during the process.


Both short term and long term fitness goals are valuable, but I personally can’t imagine employing only long term goals. I have seen or heard about too many new year’s resolutions that were abandoned around February. Too many treadmills that were purchased for better fitness, but soon thereafter served only as clothing racks.

Short term goals are generally attained within a day or a week. They are specific and easily measurable.

A runner may want to add 10 minutes to a run or beat his record time for a given distance.

A bodybuilder may want to add more reps to the same program or add new and different movements to that program.

Power lifters may want to make slight increases in bench presses, dead lifts or squats

Long term goals are not quickly met, by definition.

We may want to lose 20 pounds in the next 12 months.

Or lose 3 inches from our waist line

Or prepare for a marathon.

Working with our primary physician, we may want to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol to levels more acceptable to ourselves and our doctors.

My long term goal, as stated above, is to rehabilitate my right shoulder rotator cuff issue. My short term goal is to perform 12 remedial stretch sets 3 times per week. These were presented to me by physical therapists. I have no problem in accomplishing this. I see definite improvement. My end goal is to be able to return to heavy resistance that involves my right arm and shoulder. When I feel absolutely no pain in that area, I will wait another month before I proceed with heavy resistance. Until that time, I will continue with the stretches and with resistance for the rest of my body, plus cardio.

I have found that isometric holds can involve injured body parts without further injury or adding to recovery time. I use Bullworker devices to be able to do this efficiently. Learn more about Bullworker here.

I believe that goal setting must include writing down specific goals, both short and long term. Please review my prior article on Food and Exercise Journals. Click here.


Paraphrasing Men’s Journal, here is a series of steps to accomplish or “crush” our fitness goals. These steps apply to women as well as men.

  • Start today. Don’t wait for New Year’s morning after.
  • Be specific, as you write down or otherwise record your plan
  • Make your goals measurable, achievable and timed.
  • Be aware of your weaknesses. Be realistic about potential setbacks.
  • Prepare for a life change that will include giving up existing habits
  • Announce your intentions. I can easily relate to this since I quit smoking on a military tour of duty by publicizing my goals. I wanted to hold myself accountable.
  • Stay away from negative influences. There are always nay – sayers who may resent your success.
  • Wake up every day with motivation to make gains on that day.


Relevant reading material:

Here is a link to FitTrack and the Dara Scale, which gives us 17 health measurements. Weight, Muscle Mass, Fat Mass, Bone Mass, Hydration and 12 other metrics to really understand how we are progressing physically. This is an ideal motivator and tracking device.

We all need a source for fitness equipment and sporting goods items in general. The best that I have found is Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest such merchant in the United States. I have been buying from DSG for 4 decades and recommend them highly. See the link below for current specials throughout their inventory.

Save Up To 50% On This Week’s Deals at Dick’s Sporting Goods


I am firmly convinced that success and/or failure in realizing physical fitness goals lie primarily in the motivational realm.

Also, it seems to me that vague long term goals without concrete and specific “stepping stone” small goals are inevitably useless.

Goals definitely require sacrifice, but the end results easily justify the necessary discipline. Do we want a healthy, vibrant body or ice cream and leisure?

My personal experience is that reaching goals is a habit quite difficult to break, which is not to say that setbacks and failures along the way are not part of the equation.

Please leave any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well and stay safe!


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