New Year, New You: Setting SMART Exercise Goals
The start of a new year can be a great time to think about exercise goals that you want to achieve.
Goal setting is an effective strategy to help you stick with an exercise plan. However, important to set clearly defined goals for yourself.
A very effective tool for turning your motivation into action is a SMART goal.
SMART goals are:
SPECIFIC - Clearly define what you want to accomplish. Think: Who, what, where and how?
The more specific you are the easier it is to visualize and measure you progress.
Example: I will complete a 5K distance walk event held at the city park in the spring.
MEASURABLE - How will you track your progress? How will you know you have achieved your goal?
In the example above, the goal is defined by a specific fitness event and distance.
ACHIEVABLE - Is this a reasonable goal for you? Is your action plan likely to succeed? What are the steps you’ll take to achieve your goal.
It is okay to start small with a goal so it manageable and achievable. You will feel more motivated by achieving smaller goals quickly then feel like you are stuck working on a big goal for a long time.
Example: I will walk for at least 15 minutes on the treadmill or outside, 5 out of 7 days this week.
RELEVANT - Is this a meaningful and important goal to you? Why?
The most crucial part of setting the goal starts with YOU. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? What motivates you when you think about exercise?
TIME-BOUND - What is your timeline for reaching this goal?
Have a set time frame. Every goal needs a target date, so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This helps to keep everyday distractions from taking priority over your exercise goal. It also helps you to keep your goal realistic and manageable.
Ready to make your own SMART exercise goal?
goal worksheet to get started.