Stay Motivated with SMART Fitness Goals
Staying motivated is an important part of any health or fitness program, and seeing your progress is an incredible motivator. That’s why it’s important to set goals you can track. SMART goals - goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound - give you a timeline with a predetermined end date, and they keep you accountable and motivated throughout along the way. Here are some tips to make sure you’re setting SMART goals that will set you up for success.
What exactly are you going to do? “Eating healthier” or “exercising more” or “losing weight” are all goals, but they are not specific. Reframe them by being more descriptive and include numbers.
Here are some examples:
Decrease my soda consumption from 1 can every day to 1 can a week.
Increase my vegetable and fruit consumption from 2 servings to 5 servings a day.
Riding my bike instead of driving my car to work at least 3 times per week.
Take the kids for an at least 30-minute walk at least 5 days per week.
In order to track your progress, your goals need to be measurable. Have a measure, such as the amount of soda cans you consume, servings of fruit and vegetables you consume, minutes of exercise you complete, or steps you take. Self-monitoring increases your likelihood for positive behavior change.
Tools to measure and track your process include:
Activity tracking apps (and the Kickoff app if you’re a client!)
Smart and GPS watches
Training logs and journals
Your goal should be meaningful and something to work towards, but also within your capabilities. Think about your limitations, such as your current physical condition, health concerns and injuries, and availability of resources.
Yes, goals should be challenging - but not impossible to achieve. Don’t set yourself up for failure and cause frustration because they are unrealistic and set too high. Your goal should be challenging, but allow a steady progress to keep you motivated.
Set a time frame for your goal that includes a start and a goal completion date. Within this time frame, set up a series of smaller goals that give you opportunities to track success and keep you motivated.
Lose 10 pounds in the next 10 weeks - 1 pound per week
Increase my fruit and vegetable consumption from 2 to 5 servings a day over the next 3 months - 1 serving increase every month.
Now it’s your turn! Make your goal a SMART goal and get started!
To get a personalized workout plan and train with Yvonne Jeschke, ACSM C.P.T., visit here.
FitWell by Liguori, Carroll-Cobb, 2012