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As an HR professional by training, I am always coaching managers and employees on the importance of establishing SMART goals in relation to performance standards and expectations. However, being SMART about your fitness goals is a great way to stay on track and achieve success as well.
Far too often, we are guilty of establishing broad fitness goals and objectives such as:
“I want to get in shape”
“I want to exercise more”
“I want to be healthier”
“I want to lose weight”
“I want to lose fat”
“I want to eat better”
“I want to bench press more weight”
There is no true way to assess if you are on track with these statements, and quite frankly, there is no motivation to be successful. So, let’s get SMART!
As a brief reminder, being SMART means:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Actionable
R – Realistic
T – Time-based
Really sit down and think about what it is you want to achieve and what you would like to accomplish. Here are some examples of good specific fitness goals:
- I want to lose 10 pounds
- I want to attend 2 fitness classes at the gym each week
- I want to run a 7-minute mile
- I want to increase my bench press by 20 pounds
Make it MEASURABLE
Now that you’ve identified what it is you would like to specifically accomplish, you have to establish some criteria so that you are able to assess progress and determine if you are meeting your goals or not. The first step of being able to measure progress is to have an accurate assessment of your current status. What is your baseline? If you have not done so already, review my article on knowing your numbers. Know your current weight before stating you want to lose 5, 10, 15 pounds. Know how fast you currently run a mile. Know how much you are able to bench press. Once you know your starting point, you will be able to measure your progress.
Ready, set, ACTION!
Fitness efforts require a combination of healthy eating, exercise, commitment, planning and diligence. Therefore, knowing your baseline will help you to plan what actions need to be done to progress towards your goal. This is where your efforts matter the most!! In order to lose those 10 pounds, your meals will need to be modified accordingly in conjunction with a workout plan. How will you plan your meals and workouts each week to support your goal? If you currently run a 10-minute mile, what is the plan to reach a 7-minute mile? Really think about the required actions necessary to achieve your goal.
Now let’s be REALISTIC
You want to set goals that are attainable and challenging. If they are too easy, you may get bored and lose your motivation. If they are unrealistic, you are setting yourself up for failure. Unfortunately, this is where many fall victim to weight loss hoaxes such as “Lose 10 pounds in 10 days,” “Lose weight eating whatever you want,” or “Get in shape without working out.” They prey on those who want to see immediate results.
Remember, you did not get into your current shape overnight. So you cannot realistically expect to achieve your fitness goals overnight. Instead, think about what you are able to achieve physically, emotionally, and financially. What physical activities do you enjoy? What are you able to commit to with your schedule? Be mindful about what is truly possible.
It’s about TIME
What’s your deadline? Establishing a time constraint incorporates accountability to keep yourself on track. If your goal is long-term, consider adding in some interim time-based goals along the way to achieve. These will help to keep you motivated as well.
Being SMART with your fitness goals will set you up for success. The rest is up to you. And yes, you can do it!
– Wishing you continued success in your fitness journey!Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 Nichole Michele