Setting New Fitness Goals? Make Sure they are SMART Goals!
The kids have gone back to school and everyone seems to be falling back into their regular routines or starting new workout and weight loss regimens. Goal setting is a vital part to success, but vague unrealistic goals will not get you to where you want to be.
Here is a great 5 step method to ensure you are setting realistic and attainable goals to help stay motivated and produce a successful outcome:
What are SMART Goals?
Is your goal clearly defined? Make sure you set specific weight loss or fitness goals. “I want to lose weight” is too vague, but “I want to lose 10lbs in 5 weeks at a rate of 2lbs per week” is more likely to keep you motivated each week.
Saying “I want to get in better shape” is not measurable; however, “I want to be able to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes at level 6.0 without walking” is more specific and it will be easier to measure progress.
A Action Oriented
You should outline specific steps to reach your goal within a specified time frame. If you want to be able to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes at level 6.0 without walking in 6 weeks, what are you going to do to be able to reach this goal? Create a timeline and program to follow that gradually decreases your walking time and increases your running time over a 6 week period.
Be sure the goals you set are attainable within your lifestyle and fitness level. For example, “I am going to run 7 days per week for 30 minutes until I can do it without walking” is not realistic. Instead, make shorter goals to help you reach the final goal at the end. “I am going to be able to run for 20 minutes without walking in 2 weeks” and then “I will increase this to 25 minutes over the next 2 weeks” etc.
Set deadlines that will keep you on track. “I want to lose 10lbs” provides no deadline and does not hold you accountable. Set a large goal with a deadline along with many “mini-goals” along the way to use as progress check-in points. “In 2 weeks I want to be down 3 to 4lbs” is more realistic and keeps you on track to the final goal of losing 10lbs in 6 weeks.
Other great goal setting tips:
- Reward yourself-plan to reward yourself with non-food related mini-treats each time you reach a short term goal and a larger treat once your reach your final goal. Avoid rewarding yourself with a chocolate bar, a cookie, or “cheat meal” at your favourite restaurant. I enjoy treats of a new workout top, a new pair of running shoes, or a massage!
- Write it down or tell someone- hold yourself accountable by writing your goals down, tell someone close to you, or track your progress on your Facebook page.