Take the SMART Approach to Your Fitness Journey


Set Short, Medium and Long Term Fitness Goals and Make Them SMART


So you’ve just signed up to the gym or bought a new fitness DVD/online programme – well done – first step complete!

You are much more likely to achieve your long term goals by setting short and medium-term goals along the way. Achieving the short and medium-term goals will keep you on track and motivated to achieve the long-term goal.

Let’s take a look at what it means to set SMART goals and a few examples, whether you choose to join a gym or workout at home.

Make your goals SPECIFIC

Avoid general goals like “tone up,” “lose weight,” or “get fitter” but use these to set specific goals. The more detailed and specific the goal the more likely you are to work towards and achieve it.

Who, what, why, where and when isn’t just a good tool for writers; approach your goal-setting with this formula and you’ll end up with specific short, medium and long-term goals.

Make Sure Your Goals MEASURABLE

Women perform squat in fitness class
Photo: Sarah Pflug (Burst)

Pay attention to any changes and consider keeping a diary or a note on your phone. Is your squat improving? Are you using heavier dumbbells? Have you started taking the intermediate/advanced options in that fitness class? Maybe you’re noticing physical changes. These are measurable changes.

You should also assess how you feel after each session on a scale of “are we done? 1,” to “I had a terrific time, 10.”

It’s Important That Your Goals Are ACHIEVABLE/AGREED

A is also for action-oriented. Your action plan is your short-term goals, which will be easier to achieve than your medium-term goals, and your medium-term goals, which will be easier to achieve than your long-term goals. Remember this is what will help you keep you on track.

Set goals that are achievable so you stay motivated. If you are working with a fitness trainer, do not feel pressured into setting goals that are not right for you and ensure all goals set are agreed by both of you.

Above All Your Goals Must Be REALISTIC/RELEVANT

This is my favourite letter of the SMART acronym. All your goals need to really be realistic. Consider your work schedule, family and other commitments and see exactly how much time you can to dedicate to physical activity.

Strong women flex in fitness class
Photo: Sarah Pflug (Burst)

You may feel demotivated and give up if you overestimate how many days or for how long you will work out. Be realistic and if you are able do a little more than you initially planned you’ll feel great for it. Be sure to keep your goals relevant to you; everyone’s fitness journey is different, personal preferences vary as do body types.

The Path To All Goals Must Be TIME-BOUND

Be sure to set a time-frame within which you must achieve your goals, if you don’t, you’ll have no issue dropping them when it gets challenging. This is another time short and medium-term goals come into play. Break the long-term goal down and those short and medium-term wins prove you’re on the right track and will motivate you even more.

Of course things happen, life can be unpredictable but setting SMART goals will keep you on track and help you get back on track if need be.

Here To Help

If you would like help setting focussed SMART goals please feel free to contact me using this form or book a fitness session, I’d be happy to help! We can be detailed or keep things simple, whatever suits and is relevant to your fitness journey.

READ: Ready, Set… SMART Goals, Go!

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