Be SMART with your Fitness goals

SMART fitness

GET REAL.

GET S.M.A.R.T.

Fitness goals. We’ve all set them. We’re all desperate to achieve them. So as January reaches its end and the fruits of those rather grating yet fashionably stated “New year, new me” labours begin to emerge for some, others can be left bemoaning the fact that, once again, they’ve failed to reach their intended target.

I’ll never deter anyone from aiming high, but I will advise those to aim high within their means. Write down your aspirations, but be achievably aspirational. Don’t set unthinkable parameters – be S.M.A.R.T. Here’s how…

 

S – Specific

Place a precise number on your goals. Stating you simply want to lose weight is too general. For example, “I want to shed 10 pounds in eight weeks” is far more effective as it provides a fixed visual of what you want to achieve.
If you plan to enter a long distance run or adventure race, pick one, stick to it and tailor your strength and conditioning to that particular course. Likewise, don’t vaguely suggest, “I plan to do more training at home” and instead write down a program. “Monday: 100 sit-ups. Tuesday: 50 squats” and so on.

 

M – Measurable

Long-term success is reached far quicker if the build up is measured – like the examples above: On Monday, you do 100 sit-ups. In eight weeks, you know whether you’ve shed those 10 pounds or not.
Cut out carbs for one month. If that hasn’t had the desired effect, cut out sugar for the next month. Mini, realistic goals will provide accurate results, build confidence and stand you in better stead for future objectives.

 

A – Achievable

Keen to run a marathon but have never tried anything like it before? Opt for a 5K or 10K first. You’ll still be pushing yourself, only to a more realistic target. (Plus, it’ll eventually form the basis of your training when you feel ready to step up to that epic 28K).
Conversely, an “end goal” isn’t crucial. Rather than set one major target, think up several smaller ones: Walk two miles a day, measure and record your daily calorie intake, replace all soft drinks with water
Take lifestyle into account, too. There’s zero point in committing to certain timeframes if your schedule doesn’t suit.

 

R – Relevant

I revel in a challenge, but I’m well aware it’s not everyone’s cup of healthy coffee – especially if that challenge doesn’t stimulate you. If you’re partial to a glass of red and everyone you know is taking part in that month’s ”Dryathlon”, don’t feel obliged to join them. You need to feel comfortable in order to be motivated, so in this instance perhaps adapt your involvement by cutting your intake to one glass a week instead. If you love chocolate and the thought of giving it up makes you miserable, switch to dark chocolate only and limit the amount you consume. Don’t worry, be happy.

 

T – Time-bound

Before you begin, think of the end. The ability to achieve your goals will be strengthened when you know an end date determines your success. You’ll work harder against the clock and find it easier to adjust for the next lot.
Just remember: time frames must be realistic. Challenging yourself is all well and good, but not if it puts your health at serious risk in the process.

 

If you’d like advice on what S.M.A.R.T. goals would work specifically for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll gladly suggest some options.

For now, I’ll leave you with some (slightly tweaked and less potty-mouthed) words of wisdom from the effervescent Jordan Belfort:

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”

Let’s have a smart 2016, people!