One of the most important things in physical activity is to set fitness goals. Goals are essential in training as well as in your day-to-day life. I have been a Personal Trainer in Langley for nearly 2 years now and this is something I deal with on a daily basis for my clients and myself. Goals offer you something to look forward to, strive for or reward after a tough journey. Goals however are often set too high and are unachievable. It’s great to have a challenging goal, but if there is no chance to accomplish it you are setting yourself up for failure.
There are a couple key factors to consider when setting your goal: a simple acronym can be used. It’s called the SMART goal. SMART goal stands for:
In terms of SMART fitness goals, being specific is crucial! They must clearly define what you want to achieve. If your goal is too vague then measuring it becomes very difficult. Measurability refers basically to tracking progress. Is there a way you can measure? In sports it is easy for example, referring to times or points or weights. Other ways to measure could be a pair of pants you want to fit into or a grade you would like to achieve. Attainability refers to can your goal be accomplished with in your means? Important factors are time and money. Can you afford to take time off to train for that marathon? Can you afford to join a local training group? Realistic is simple. Is it physically possible to do? Is there any chance of you accomplishing this goal at all? Last but not least is Time Frame. This is essential without a date, it’s hard to build motivation to complete your goal before a deadline or track a goals progress. It is also important to note that if you are setting a long-term goal, you need to create small intermittent goals that are gradually increasing in difficulty. This way you achieve small successes along the way building confidence and motivation to finish the SMART fitness goals
Additionally, you should write a brief statement on how you plan on accomplishing your goals.
Here are 2 examples of SMART fitness goals:
- I am going to drop my 10k time by 30 seconds by the end of February, and 1 minute by the 2017 Vancouver Sun Run (April 23rd 2017). I plan on doing this by starting a structured strength training program and running program by Justin Massar Fitness.
- I want to look and feel better by dropping 3” on my waist in 3 months. My goal pace is 1” a month. I plan on doing this by consulting with a dietitian to create a diet that makes sense for me. Also, I am committing to 2 days of Strength Training and 2 days of cardio every week.
It is crucial that the goal is something that is important to you. If you are chasing someone else’s goal there is not intrinsic motivation to push you beyond your comfort zone!
To wrap, take some time and reflect on what you want to accomplish and write down your goals. You are more likely to follow through if it’s on paper!
Till next time your friendly neighbourhood Personal Trainer,
BA Kinesiology , NSCA-CSCS,
BCAK, NCCPII Sprint/Hurdles