How SMART are your fitness goals?
If you’re like most people, you probably have set a goal to “get fit” at one point or another. And, if you are like most people, you have probably given up before achieving that goal. Why does this happen? More likely than not, there was some aspect of your goal that was too broad, which made it difficult to achieve your desired outcome. So how do we combat this pattern and start a new habit of achievement? By setting SMART goals, of course!
What is a SMART goal?
SMART is an acronym for a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. If you keep all of these things in mind when setting a fitness goal, you are more likely to attain the goal the first time around. Start by taking a broad goal, and making it specific and measurable.
Consider the broad goal of “get fit.” What does being physically fit mean to you? It tends to be different for everyone, so a desire to “get fit” isn’t a very specific goal. Alternatively, you can determine your level of fitness by your ability to perform a specific movement, such as a single push-up. That goal is both specific and measurable, as you can either complete a push-up, or you cannot.
Once you have a specific and measurable goal, it is time to determine if it is achievable. Let’s, once again, consider our push-up example. We know it is achievable because people perform push-ups all the time. Our goal is to simply complete a single push-up, which makes it that much more attainable.
Now that your goal is specific, measurable, and achievable, you’ll want to set a realistic time period for completion. Since each person has their own unique skill set and level of fitness, your timeline will likely be different from that of anyone else. If you have been performing push-ups on your knees for years, it would make sense for you to set a shorter time period for your goal than it would for another person that has never attempted a push-up in their life. If you are new to push-ups, your timeline may be 90 days or even 6 months. If you are further along in your abilities, 30 days of focused training may be all that you need. The important thing to remember is that what is realistic for you may not be realistic for someone else, and vice-versa.
So you have set a SMART goal. What’s next?
You’ll want to take the time to break down your SMART goal into steps, or checkpoints, for you to reach along the way. Going back to our push-up example, if you have never performed a push-up in your life, perhaps the first step is to learn how to safely complete a push-up. You may choose to meet with a personal trainer, a fit friend, or even search for instructional videos on YouTube. Your next step would likely be to attempt, and then master, performing push-ups on your knees rather than your toes. The third step might be practicing planks, or breaking the push-up movement into parts, before finally attempting (and completing!) a military push-up.
Whatever your goals may be, ensuring they are SMART will set you up for success. It is worth taking some time to write down your reasons for setting this goal for yourself, and making a list of things to do if you should get off track. When you have your own words and reasons to reflect on, it is a lot easier to find your motivation. In order to assist you in designing your SMART fitness goals, we have created a Goal Roadmap worksheet, and made it available for download at no cost. If you need help with this, or anything else on your road to physical fitness, let us know. We are Workout World, and we are here to help.
Commit To Yourself, Not a Contract
If you’re thinking about getting in shape and want to make the best possible long-term financial decision, absolutely consider a low-cost gym or health club like WOW! New England. You’ll have everything you need to get started, and plenty of support to keep going, all at a cost that’s easy to manage. When you consider that WOW! memberships start at $10 per month with no commitment (read: no cancellation fees), it is easy to commit to yourself, and your health, without breaking the bank.
WOW! New England is more than a gym, it’s a health club focused on supporting members as they work to improve their health. Are you ready to commit to yourself and your health? Join today.