Are you considering fitness goals that you want to achieve in the next year? Many people use January as their time to adopt exercise routines and diet plans in an effort to get healthier for the New Year. Whether your goals are to lose weight, run a marathon, put on muscle, or go to the gym more regularly, just remember to be SMART!
SMART goal-making uses a few guiding principles to help you accomplish what you set your mind to. It was a system that began as a management tool in the corporate environment to give teams the ability to accomplish what they needed, but it can be applied to several different parts of our lives – no suit or tie required!
Each letter of SMART goal-making stands for a suggestion on how to craft your goals for success. Here’s how you can use them to set your fitness goals for the year!
When setting your SMART goal, start with something specific. For example, don’t just say that you want to lose weight this year. Set a certain amount of pounds you’d like to lose and keep off.
The second part of crafting a SMART goal is to make it something that is measurable. If your first idea is something along the lines of, “I want to exercise more,” attach numbers to that goal to make it measurable, such as, “I want to exercise for 30 minutes for 4 days a week.”
The “A” in SMART stands for “Achievable,” which encourages us to be realistic about the goals we set. It might not be achievable for someone who doesn’t exercise at all to start working out 2 hours every day, or run a marathon (though don’t let anyone discourage you from trying). We’ll have more success when we take our abilities into consideration and make goals that push us slightly beyond our comfort zone. Then, we’ll have the confidence to take on more in the future!
SMART goals are intended to be Relevant, which means they are made with your preferences and lifestyle in mind. You wouldn’t try to learn how to ice skate if there were no skating rinks nearby, would you? Likewise for making goals that fit well within your lifestyle, location, and routine. Some goals do take you out of your comfort zone quite a bit, but for the most part, sustaining new routines and habits are easiest when they are easily integrated into the rest of your life.
- Time bound
Lastly, you want your SMART goal to have a time frame attached to it. This increases your motivation because you know there will be an end date to your efforts, which will be the perfect time to celebrate your success! If you’ve made it a goal to add something to your fitness regimen, the end of this timetable is a good time to decide if you want to keep it, or try something new. It’s always a great feeling to reach the finish line, and making SMART goals will give you lots of successes to enjoy!