Setting Fitness Goals
April 9, 2020
Last week the mental and physical health benefits of staying active were discussed along with how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. This week establishing both short-term and long-term fitness goals will continue to help you to be successful on your fitness journey.
Goals are tools that are used to focus energy in positive directions; goals push you forward and keep you motivated. Fitness goals will keep you focused, help you set priorities and develop a concrete plan that will hold you accountable for your exercise routine and allow you to track your progress. Fitness apps are a great way to track your progress and give you solid evidence when you doubt your progress. Some apps, such as “FitOn” and “Fitbit” have the added advantage of a virtual community who can help to keep you on track.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that is commonly attributed to Peter Drucker's “Management Objectives”. To make sure your fitness goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
- Specifically, what do I want to accomplish and why is this goal important to me.
- Example: drink more water each day
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
- It is important to put a specific measurable value (such as pounds, inches, percentages, size, etc.) on your goal so that you can track your progress and stay motivated.
- Example: eat 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
- Achievable (agreed, attainable).
- Your goal must be realistic, healthy, and attainable to be successful. It should stretch your abilities but remain possible if you work hard.
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
- Make sure your goal is something that is meaningful and important to you. Don’t set goals to make someone else happy, set goals that you want to achieve for yourself.
- Time bound (time-based, time limited, time-sensitive).
- Every goal needs a target date so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work towards.
Setting fitness goals is an important step in improving your health. Remember to be specific and realistic when setting your goals; also break down large goals into manageable steps. Finally, be kind to yourself and don’t worry about occasional setbacks; those are normal. Ultimately, this journey will lead to a healthier and more fit you!