10 Ways To Set S.M.A.R.T. Fitness Goals
If you're tired of feeling sluggish or unproductive and don’t like how you look, it's time to take action. By committing to a life of physical activity and fitness, you'll be able to live a happier, healthier life and be happy with the person you see in the mirror. While you may have tried to adopt a fitness regime in the past, you probably want to know how you can make it work this time. Maybe it’s time to set some SMART fitness goals at the outset to give yourself a better chance of success.
What are SMART goals in a fitness regime?
The SMART acronym stands for:
This mnemonic was developed as a time management tool in the 1980s, but you can certainly use it to significant effect when it comes to fitness. Let’s look at the ten best ways to set SMART fitness goals.
1. Being specific
If you want to succeed, you need to define your exact goals and what fitness means to you. Start with benchmarks that will help you determine your actual level of fitness. For example, you might be out of breath when you walk up the stairs at your apartment block. Now imagine the new you in the future, who can jog up those stairs without any exertion. Setting specific fitness goals like this makes it easier for you to achieve your goals.
2. Measuring progress
Measuring your progress as you go help to keep your motivation at a high level. Keep accurate notes each time you work out and take pictures. You'll be able to see and track your progress along the way — exciting you and motivating you for more. For example, you'll be able to see how many reps you can perform with a specific weight when strength training. You may also want to use the stairs at your apartment block to help you gauge progress related to that earlier goal. How many flights of stairs can you walk up now before getting out of breath? Reflect on your past situations so that you can see the progress you've made. You'll be shocked!
3. Determining achievability
Make sure your SMART fitness goals are not too far out of reach. If they're not realistic and achievable, you may struggle to hold yourself accountable and stay motivated. If you're in the gym, be wary of comparing yourself to the chiselled bodybuilder beside you. You should certainly be inspired, but trust the process and don't rush it. Likewise, don't expect to run from the bottom of that staircase to the top floor the first try, and understand that it will take time. The trick is to set realistic, bite-size goals.
4. Calculating relevancy
If you're like most people with a busy schedule, you may find it hard to devote all day to fitness. You may only be able to attend the gym three times a week or go for a run at specific times during the working day. All of this can make it more difficult for you to progress as quickly as you might otherwise like, but this is perfectly normal. Therefore, tempering your goals to be relevant to you, your current fitness schedule, and your available time is crucial for eventually reaching the goals you have set.
5. Setting time limits
Once you’ve made sure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable and relevant, it's time to set your schedule. You can estimate your progress and come up with specific dates in the future when you can look back and gauge how successful you have been. Again, it’s important not to rush the process, but make sure you set critical “due dates” on your calendar. Imagine how good you will feel and how great you will look when you get to those dates! By doing so, it will keep you disciplined and consistent throughout your fitness journey.
6. Writing it down
Set everything out in writing or digital form, rather than having it all in your head. Come up with an actionable workout plan and put it where you can see it. If you have a pinboard at home, print your plan out and pin it up. Otherwise, create one on your phone, tablet or computer and make sure it's accessible and visible — reminding you every day to do what you set out to do.
7. Buddying up
Aligning your goals with somebody who is in a similar position can be very motivating. You may have a friend who has also talked about their fitness aspirations, so see if you can share the fitness journey with them along the way. This will help keep you more focused and accountable, while you can also contribute to your friend's success. Otherwise, find somebody at your gym and see if they will agree to become your accountability partner. After all, it'll benefit both of you and make the journey a lot more fun.
8. Kinks in the road
Don't be afraid to take action if things aren't working out as they should. You can keep a journal or use one of many available apps to stay on track. It's okay to adjust your first SMART goals, especially in the early days, but try not to make too many alterations to push yourself further and see the best results.
9. You're only human
Understand that you're a human being and that your performance will vary as the days and weeks go by. You may sometimes feel lethargic or have some emotional pressures to deal with. But be kind to yourself if you haven't performed as well as you would’ve like to on any given day. And always remember to focus on your recovery time to ensure that your muscles have the time to repair.
10. Stick to your SMART fitness goals
Don't be tempted to ditch your SMART goals simply because you came across a new exercise fad or an Instagram fitness influencer asks you, "what are SMART goals in fitness anyway?" Remind yourself that you worked hard at the outset to set those SMART goals, and they are still relevant until you achieve everything that you set out to do. When you get to the end, make new SMART fitness goals and continue your journey.
Remember, you don’t need to be a member of a commercial gym to achieve your SMART fitness goals. At Gym and Fitness, we've grown into one of Australia’s largest online fitness equipment retailers, having helped over 50,000 customers live longer, happier and healthier lives! Buy your strength training and recovery equipment now at Gym and Fitness and receive your order in just 1-7 business days.For further information, check out our FAQs or visit our shipping page for more information about delivery options.