Monday, June 6, 2011
S.M.A.R.T. Workout Goals
Unrealistic fitness goals can be one of the biggest sources of discouragement when it comes to staying committed to your fitness program. Setting your goals according to the results you see in the latest infomercials is a recipe for failure, frustration and drop out. Instead, try setting your goals according to the popular SMART system. Think about the following when starting your fitness program.
Specific: Don’t set vague goals. “I want to get in shape” just doesn’t cut it! It doesn’t give you a final destination or let you know when you’ve achieved success. “I want to lose 5 pounds” or “I want to drop one clothes size” are goals that identify a specific target and will help you stay focused.
Measurable: Setting measurable goals can help you monitor your progress and success with greater certainty and ease. It will also boost your motivation and strengthen your commitment when you start seeing results. Finally, you will be more able to determine if your current workout program is getting you closer to your desired goal, or if you need to try something new.
Action Oriented: Plan your work out and then implement your plan. What days will you workout? What kind of exercise will you do? How often and how long? Once you’ve developed your plan actively implement it and get going.
Realistic: Trying to lose 20lbs in two weeks is neither realistic nor healthy for most people. It’s much smarter to set small goals and have consistent victories that make you look forward to your next workout. Unrealistic goals can make you feel like a failure even when you do succeed at losing significant weight.
Timed: It’s important to set a time limit to reach your goals, so that you can periodically assess whether you are on track. Setting time also increases urgency and accountability; very important factors for any fitness program.
This approach will help you get smart about setting goals, and get you going on your way to changing your body, victory by victory.