Older woman flexes arm muscle after workoutAt some point, you might’ve heard about the SMART goal acronym:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Relevant
  • T- Time-Based

This is a popular framework to use for the goals you have in any area of your life, including fitness. Have you ever thought about using the SMART goal format to set your personal fitness goals?

If not, take a look at the following examples of some common fitness goals. Then compare each common goal to its more effective SMART goal version:

Specific: Goals should be clearly defined.

Let’s say your goal is to “get more fit.” While this seems like a great thing to achieve, the problem is that it is too vague. What does it mean to get more fit? And how will you know when that has even happened? Make your goal more specific by changing it to something like, “Do 15 burpees unbroken, without rest.”

Measurable: Goals should have a number or quantity tied to them.

By tying a number to your goals and making them measurable, you’re able to figure out when you’ve accomplished your goal. Using the same example from above, if your goal is to “get more fit,” there isn’t a way to measure your progress or determine when you’re more fit. Find a way to tie some numbers to your goals so that you can gauge when you improve.

Attainable: Goals should challenge you but still be attainable.

When most people set goals, the tendency is to set the bar too high. Rather than starting with smaller, achievable goals, it’s pretty common to set a goal that is unrealistic given your current level of fitness. The problem with this is that the result is usually a decrease in motivation. So instead, set a goal that will challenge you but is still within your reach.

Relevant: Goals should be relevant and appealing to where you are in your life right now.

The key here is that your goals should match up with where you’re headed in your life and what you hope to achieve. Don’t set a goal just because your friends or family members do. Set a goal that is relevant and important to you.

Time-Based: Goals should have a set timeframe, endpoint, or deadline.

When you set a deadline for your goal, it’s not as easy to keep putting things off until tomorrow. With a timeline for your goal, you can set and achieve mini-milestones while on your way to achieving your bigger, long-term goal.

At the YMCA of Greater Whittier, you’re not just joining a gym; you’re joining a cause! Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how you can get started.