How to stay motivated with SMART fitness goals
Setting the right goals is a HUGE determining factor in whether or not you achieve your fitness and nutrition goals. People who get real results use SMART goals to hold themselves accountable and motivated. Let’s learn a bit about how to use this simple but powerful tool to set you up for success!
Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-Bound
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. A trainer can help you understand what’s achievable.
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 date and 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.
It’s not complicated but often it’s hard to remember to frame the things you want to achieve in this way. Having the discipline to make sure that any goal you set for yourself uses this framework is half the battle. The other half often involves a lot of sweat, but we’ll talk about that another time :)
If you need help setting SMART goals or need an accountability partner to make sure you stick to them, tell us what a bit about your goals and we’ll set up a free consultation with an expert personal trainer to get you on the right track!
To get a personalized workout plan and train with Yvonne Jeschke, ACSM C.P.T., visit here.
FitWell by Liguori, Carroll-Cobb, 2012