Do you have health and fitness goals for 2018?
Are you going to exercise more? Eat more vegetables? Drop a few pounds? If you’ve had difficulty meeting goals in the past you should try SMART goal setting. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
In the fitness industry, we find people have struggled achieving their goals because the goals were vague. We often hear people set the goal of “be fit” or “get healthy”. The problem with this goal is that it isn’t specific enough to know if it has been met. A goal to lose 2-pounds a month is specific. Go to bed 30-minutes earlier than normal in order to wake-up 30-minutes earlier to fit in exercise is another example of a specific goal. There should be detail in your goal.
Measurable goals allow us to celebrate success when we meet them. If you want to run faster you could consider the goal, “I want to take 15-seconds off my fastest 5k.” Measurable fitness goals usually include a reference to time, speed, distance or resistance. Holding a plank for 60-seconds is measurable as is running 1-mile in ten minutes.
Lofty goals may be worth considering for the long term but making goals attainable will set you up for success. Alternatively, if goals are too easy they may not be motivating enough. Attainable goals are challenging enough to help keep us on track but not so overwhelming to give-up on. An example of attainable may be, “I will meet with a personal trainer once a week for 6 months.” If you come in to meet with our training staff (ie. Sahba, our master of fitness!), we will work with you to make sure the goals you set are SMART.
Making goals relevant to your life assures the actions are important to you. Just because a friend wants you to join them in training for a marathon doesn’t mean it’s something you should do. We decide to set and strive for goals when they are our own and when the goal is important enough. Maybe training for a marathon will be something that becomes personally important to you in the future, but not right now. Taking the time to reflect on how relevant the goal is to your life will increase the likelihood of meeting it.
Lastly, commit to setting a time-bound goal. There’s nothing like a deadline to keep you focused on the task at hand. A long-term goal could be to lose twenty pounds by December 1, 2018 while a short-term goal may be to walk 4-miles by the end of this week. Time-bound goals can be put on the calendar and referenced daily to assess progress.
Need a place to start?
Check out our Personal Training Playlist on our Youtube channel here. Sahba demonstrates the (in)famous Dead Bug exercise to wake-up your sleepy core muscles.
SMART goals will provide a road map for achievement. Share your health and fitness goals with your friends and family so they can support you along the way. Hiring a personal trainer or strength coach can add accountability and structure to your journey.
We hope to be part of your journey to health and fitness in 2018! Share your SMART goals in the comment section below and let us support you in the journey to better health in 2018.
Written by Aaron Shaw, OTR/L, CHT, CSCS
Certified Hand Therapist
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
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