Having fitness goals is an amazing way to help guide you to success, but be warned – not all goals are created equal. Get SMART and put the following elements together to help you get to where you want to go.
Specific –is my goal clear and well-defined?
Measurable –when will I reach my goal?
Attainable –is my goal realistic and something that I can achieve?
Relevant – is my goal important to me and where I am at in my life right now?
Timed –when do I plan on meeting my goal?
Here is an example. Jane has decided that her goal is to get healthy. She works in a high-stress job, has little energy left for her two young children and does not get any regular physical activity. Jane has decided that she wants to become more physically active (S). There are two areas of her life where she realizes she can become more active – at work and at home. She chooses to start with walking because it is an activity that is easy to incorporate in her life (R). She recognizes that increasing her physical activity will help her manage her stress and also be an opportunity to get in some quality time with her children (R).
Jane decides that she will do the following activities for one month (T):
At work, every day (M):
- She will walk down the hall to speak to her co-worker twice a day instead of e-mailing her (A).
- She will get off the elevator two floors below her office in the morning and take the stairs instead (A).
- On Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:00-5:15, she will go for a 15-minute walk with her children (A).
- On Saturday afternoons from 12:00-12:30, she will go for a 30-minute walk with her children (A)
Making changes requires planning and SMART goal setting. Once you have your goal in place, stay accountable and consistent. Remember to keep your goals simple and always have a new goal ready for when you achieve your current goal. This gives you something to work toward and helps you to stay on track. Each goal you reach brings you one step closer to living a healthy and active life.