Setting SMART Fitness Goals
What is a SMART goal?
SMART is an acronym that helps you set better goals. Better fitness goals mean you stick with the programme and get better results. So how do you get SMART? Read on and find out.
Keep your goals precise and stick to them. If you start training without a clear goal at the end, how can you possibly know if you’re getting there successfully? Ask yourself what you want to change about yourself. Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle mass, increase your speed or endurance, or get more flexible? Set a realistic target as your goal and stick to it.
Make sure you know how far along you are by testing yourself regularly. Invest in a good watch with GPS function, or an app for your phone, so you can work out how far and fast you’re going. Make time for a gym session where you can really measure your strength, speeds and heart rate under perfect conditions. Write it all down!
Your goals have to be realistic in terms of time, age, weight and resources. You aren’t competing against anyone but yourself, so don’t set yourself up with false comparisons to people who are younger, fitter or more experienced than you. Speak to a trainer at your local gym to ask about what your achievable goals are: they’ll understand what you can be capable of.
Do you really want it? Or are you doing this for the wrong reasons? If your goal is relevant to you and it satisfies your burning desires, then you are going to really go for it. If it’s a fad, or half-hearted, you’re never going to stick to it. Making your goal relevant can actually be a really good time to ask yourself serious questions about life. What do you want to be for the rest of your life?
Don’t be open-ended: make a plan with a clear date at the end. Your entire programme is aimed at this one date, which will give you focus, help with motivation on the days you find it hard to get going, and will give you the chance to plan rest and ‘treat’ days when your body needs them. Once you hit your goal and the big day has passed, give your body time to rest; and start planning your next set of SMART fitness goals.