We have all been there at some point when other commitments such as work, looking after children, our financial status (if you go to a gym) or studies get in the way of our beloved fitness regime.
That said, one of the main reasons why people begin their journey in leading a fit and active lifestyle, only to loose the motivation to continue a couple of months *or even weeks* into their regime is simply because S.M.A.R.T goals were not addressed and thought through at the very start of their fitness journey.
When setting out goals, time should be spent thinking about what you ultimately want to achieve. Being able to break the process down into small manageable steps, whilst setting sensible intermediate goals is a crucial part of achieving your long term exercise and fitness goals.
What it SMART? SMART Goals are:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Realistic
T = Time-bound
Write down the specific fitness goals that you would like to work towards. This will aid you to conquer them successfully.
By being specific about your goals you would like to accomplish, will ultimately help you to stay focused and motivated throughout your fitness journey.
Examples of specific goals could be covering a distance ranging from 3km 10km or 10miles by either running, swimming or cycling.
Another example could be working towards lifting a certain amount of weight using Olympic Free Weights.
Avoid the goal being too vague e.g ‘I want to run faster’, as it will not help you focus your attention and work towards achieving the objective you set yourself.
Ensure to measure your goals. If you cannot measure it, how do you know if you have achieved it?
This will also help stop you getting sidetracked from the main reason why you are doing it in the first place.
Be it a duration of time you would like to run in e.g ‘I am going to run non stop for 20 minutes’ , the number of repetitions you would like to complete during your free weight or bodyweight sets or how many laps of the swimming pool you would like to cover.
By having a distance over which you wish to swim in or a time period of how long you will run for will help you acknowledge if you have achieved your goal(s).
I am all for believing that anything is possible if we put our minds to it! The human mind is a powerful tool and should not be under-estimated. Just because we may not have attempted the goal in mind before does not mean that it cannot be done.
That said, if you set your goals too far out of your reach, the chances are you will find it hard to stay committed to them. If your goal is to run a Half Marathon for example, do not just focus on the overall distance of the run, for you will be instantly put off if you have never ran further than 3 miles!
Using the Half Marathon as an example, break the distance down into stages by running small distances to begin with and gradually work your way up to that all important 13.1 miles over a time period (a 12 week programme is usually sufficient to achieve a 13.1 miles with little or no running experience but you should always consult with your doctor before attempting a demanding distance such as a Half Marathon).
Your goals need to be realistic and taken in to account where you are at the time of setting out your objectives *current capabilities*
The goal you set yourself needs to challenge and push you whilst being mindful that the goal is not too easy or difficult to obtain. If it is too easy, you will not feel challenged and are likely to loose interest fairly quickly, if it is too difficult you will be defeated before you have even begun!
Once you have identified your fitness goal(s) set a realistic time-frame for them *this could be two weeks, six weeks or three months*. By putting an end point on your goal will give you a clear target to start working towards.
Without a time limit, there will be no sense of urgency for you start putting your goals into actions, as you will feel that you can start working towards your goals at any-time. This my friends, often leads to procrastination *a big NO NO*
Always bear in mind that a goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can actually achieve it. Do not be fooled though, in order for you to achieve your fitness goals will need a serious commitment from you as well as a level of dedication and desire for you to ultimately achieve and exceed your goals.
Remember ladies and gents, results do not happen overnight! Be loyal to your commitment and you shall be heavily rewarded with the results you desire.
Now that you have the knowledge to help you set out SMART Fitness goals… DO NOT delay or procrastinate!
Start your journey to becoming a fitter, faster, stronger, healthier and above all, a better version of yourself.
After all we only have one body, so look after it wisely and treat it with the respect it deserves by eating a balanced diet containing whole nutritious foods *cut right down on fizzy drinks and processed food intake*, drink at least 2 litres of water a day and exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes at least five times a week.
Let’s Go! 🙂