How To Set Smart Goals for Fitness
A goal is something that you desire to accomplish or to achieve. This can be many different things to many different people, but since we are talking about fitness, it can be such things as:
- Losing fat;
- Gaining muscle mass;
- Building your squat;
- Reaching a particular body fat percentage.
The act of completing a goal is one that brings a sense of joy and achievement to many people. Personally, I enjoy ticking a goal off my list. It means I am getting results for my work and I am heading in the desired direction.
Now... How do we set SMART goals and what does it mean?
S is for Specific
Making your goals as specific as possible - this is to avoid allowing to dwindle into the unachievable.
Many state their goal(s) as getting fit, but what exactly do you mean by fit? What exactly does fit mean to you? Is it being able to run 5k without stopping, or is it being able to lift the most in your gym, or is it reaching a certain body fat percentage?
So, sit down and put pen to paper by trying to make your goals as specific as possible. Here are some pointers to help you out! Think of the 4 W’s and 1 H, think ‘What, When, Who, Where, and How’. Try to be as clear as possible.
Use this as an example to get your creative juices flowing, “I want to get to 10% body fat by the 20th of August”. This goal is specific in its description and has a specific date set. By setting a date, it will allow me to focus on reaching my goal by the deadline I have given myself.
M is for Measurable
Setting a goal is great. But, how measurable will you make yours?
A measurable goal is something that you can track progress, this means you can break it down into smaller steps. When breaking your goal down into smaller steps it is not only easier to make progress, but you will also feel much better for taking a step in the achievement of your goal.
An example of measuring a fitness related goal is like trying to deadlift 200kg. While you currently can only deadlift 150kg, you can measure your progress by slowly increasing the weight over time. So, let’s say after 6 weeks you can deadlift 160kg, that is a good way to measure whether you are reaching your goal or not.
Measuring out your goals, make it clearer, and easier to reach them.
A is for Achievable
You need to make sure these goals are achievable for you. It is about getting your mindset right – resilient and determined – and working in a disciplined manner over time. Setting goals that you know you can do is one thing, but setting yourself a goal that you have never achieved is the real business… It is all about raising the bar and removing the limits on yourself.
When you have set yourself big goals and find yourself a little overwhelmed about the challenges that you have just set yourself. It is now time to break these big goals into smaller and more achievable goals.
This is often the best solution for most, as it can be rather daunting and can deter us from starting on our goals.
For example, you want to do 15 pull ups within 4 months, and your current starting point is 3. Well, this is okay, if you focus on improving by one pull per week, that means you will reach your goal in just 12 weeks!
That is just an example of how easy it is to break down big goals into smaller ones.
R is for Realistic
You must set goals that are realistic for you. This does not mean that you can't achieve a certain goal. Anything is possible, and it requires you to link goals to meaningful pointers.
This just means that you need to take some things into consideration first. Such as your time, resources, current capabilities, lifestyle, and fitness level.
Set yourself a goal(s) that ticks all the boxes, as there are a lot of things that you can't put on pause while you are achieving your goal(s). So have a think about how realistic the goal in your current circumstances is. Remember, circumstances can always change, and you can set higher goals.
T is for Timely
Setting a deadline is one of the most important tasks to do when setting yourself a goal. This is necessary to give yourself a timeline and trajectory of your goal. Short-, medium- and longer-term plans can then be made to add up to a single goal. Daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines can focus your engagement with your goal and encourage discipline.
Don't forget to track the progress of your goals each week and make sure to tell someone about it! Ask that person to keep you accountable and check in on a regular basis.
This will not only put you under a little bit of pressure as you don’t want to fail or to let yourself down. But it will also allow you to create a community of accountability and discipline relating to goal achievement, be it amongst your peers or closer friends.
Now that you are equipped with how to set yourself some goals, leave a comment below about what your goals are for this week and tag or share this post with a friend that will keep you accountable!