In the fitness industry, it is very common to find people with an idea of what they want out of their workouts and disciplined lifestyle choices. Often will someone say that they train ‘to be better’ or ‘to be healthier’ but what does that really mean? Without looking more in-depth at what you really want out of all those hard, sweaty sessions or the sacrifices made in an effort to make better choices, it is difficult to stay motivated and remain focussed on the mission.
Setting SMART goals is an effective way to both analyse exactly what it is you desire as well as discover how you’re going to make it possible.
SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting. To make sure your goals are reachable and clear, each one should be:
- Specific (sensible, simple, significant)
- Measurable (motivating, meaningful)
- Achievable (attainable)
- Realistic (relevant, resourced, results-orientated)
- Time-bound (time-sensitive, teachable)
When deciding these factors for yourself, visualise and ask yourself these questions…
What do I want to achieve? Why is this goal important to me? Who am I doing it for?
By answering these questions, you have created a specific goal; you have established what you are going to aim for, what motivates you to do it and set accountability. Next, you need to decide how you’re going to track your goal. For example, someone looking to increase the size of their arms might measure their arms once a week. Separating the overall end-result and creating smaller sub-goals is a great way of progress tracking, ensuring you are keeping on the right track and knowing that you are heading in the right direction is very motivating.
Be humble with the goal, it must be achievable – something you can take time in building up to. The sky is the limit, so respect that everyone is human, health and fitness isn’t an overnight miracle so certainly be realistic. The last key point is important in ensuring you can’t keep putting it off. You have to stay focussed and disciplined, the goal must be time-bound. The time one should give themselves depends on the size of the goal. By now, you may have established that there isn’t just one goal you’re aiming for. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. They can all relate to each other and be used as stepping stones to push ever further towards the ultimate goal, the one that should be thought about as you’re warming up for every workout.
Whether you’re simply looking to stay mobile and fight the signs of ageing, you’re training for a Marathon or want to seriously tone up – you can achieve anything. Set goals, be relentless, stay focussed!