In your fitness program, it’s very important to set goals for yourself, as it gives you something tangible to work toward. In addition, it’s good to have both long term and short term goals. For instance, when I started my fitness journey, I had a long term goal to lose 40 pounds. One of the ways I reached that long term goal was by setting smaller goals, like have a goal to do something active for 30 minutes every single day. This helped me to reach the long term goal of losing the weight I needed to lose.
One of the most effective goal setting strategies is to set SMART goals. What is a SMART Goal? SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
How can you apply this to your exercise program? Well, some people might say they want to exercise because they want to lose some weight. This is a good goal, but it isn’t specific or time bound. Others might say they want to lose 30 pounds in a month. While this is specific and time bound, it’s not really attainable.
Here are a few examples of SMART goals:
- Losing 16 pounds in 8 weeks by exercising 30 minutes a day.
- Building endurance to run your first 5k in 8 weeks by following a weekly running plan.
- Increasing strength by being able to bench press 225 pounds in 12 weeks by following a weight training program that builds chest strength
- Strengthening your golf swing in 8 weeks by focusing on core and rotational exercises, and measuring the Trunk Lateral Endurance Test to see results
Whatever goals you set, write them down, and record your success. This enables you to see your goal and affirm your successes. You should also keep your goal in front of you – write them down on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator door, computer monitor, bathroom mirror, or where ever you’re likely to look at them on a daily basis.
Setting SMART goals and keeping them in front of you is a positive step toward being successful in your fitness program!