When it comes to setting health and fitness goals you’ll no doubt have come across the term “SMART goals”. The SMART system is one which allows you to set goals in such a way as to make sure they get done! Goal setting is not only essential for planning, it is key for motivation and ultimately success.
Whenever I work with a client we work out their goals together. Having a goal in mind helps me to put together a bespoke training plan which is specific to a client’s individual needs, as well as their likes.
So what’s the big deal with SMART goal setting?
S is for Specific
When setting a health or a fitness goal or goals you need to be specific. “I want to lose weight” is an admirable goal however it isn’t specific. “I want to lose 5% of my weight” is. This stage of goal setting is about breaking down large goals to make them more manageable, and knowing what each stage / step involves target-wise.
M is for Measurable
You need to be able to measure your success so that means having a number involved. It could by a time, a weight or any measurement however whatever it is, it needs to be something you can quantify.
I want to lose 7lb
I want to have a waist size of….
I want to run a mile in…..
Without a number you can’t track your progress. Are you losing weight? Maybe, but if you haven’t a goal in mind how well are you actually doing?
A is for Attainable
A is for making sure your goal can be achieved. “I want to lose 1.5lb a week” is a safe and attainable target whereas “I need to lose 1st 7lb this month” is not. Reaching for the stars is great but you need to break those big goals down into ones that you can reasonably achieve, otherwise you are setting yourself up to fail.
R is for Relevant
You need to set goals that are relevant to you, to where you are in your life right now and to choose something that means something to you. If you are goal setting something someone else thinks is important, you won’t be as committed to its success. What is the goal most relevant to you? Is it to lose weight first, is it to build up to working out a certain number of times a week? Whatever it is, make sure it is relevant.
T is for Time
For a goal to be helpful it needs to have an end date / target. Losing seven pounds is admirable, but when do you want to lose it by? With no fixed time or date in mind you can coast along, losing and gaining as you like. Wanting to lose seven pounds by the 1st December is a goal you can work towards, you can visualise and is a measurable goal. Having a time in mind helps you alter your training / weight loss plan alongside your journey to help you get where you are going on time.
Are you setting SMART goals?