Setting SMART Fitness Goals

Happy New Year!

We at Zim’s hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Now New Years has been celebrated and we are ready to start not only a new year but a new decade! With this momentous change it is natural to wonder what might be in store for us in the new year and what goals we can set to make our goals, fitness and otherwise, come true. The key to setting goals is to make them challenging but achievable and to follow some simple guidelines.

The American Council on Exercise offers a clever abbreviation to help us in setting goals.

It’s called SMART and here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Specific- Make sure your goals are simple and easy to understand. Setting vague goals like ‘live healthier’ or ‘exercise more’ doesn’t help us much to get results. It’s too easy to shrug off and not take any action on because we haven’t been specific on what that action is.
  2. Measurable- Another factor in any goal is to know how we are measuring success. For instance, if we are focusing solely on pounds lost we may be disappointed as we gain muscle. We may want to focus on our waist size or perhaps how many miles we can run or any number of measurable goals.
  3. Attainable- If we set goals that are impossible for us to achieve we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. If you have only run a couple of laps than it is probably unrealistic to expect to run a marathon in a few weeks and it could frankly be dangerous to make such an attempt.
  4. Relevant- It’s also important we set goals that work with our current life situation. For example, if I have a new baby, spending hours at the gym may not be a wise goal but a Mommy and Me fitness class may be more realistic.  I love to swim and a friend of mine was always comparing her performance as a young Mother to what she achieved in college. This was unproductive and discouraging. Live in the momen
  5. Time-bound. An effective goal should have an ending or at least a pausing point where we look back at our achievements. We may not complete every aspect of our goal but we can look back and see what we have learned and how we can do better in setting the next goal.

If we can diligently set goals our lives will have more focus and we will be more likely to achieve our dreams. It’s basically a chance to plan ahead to give us the greatest chance of success! So in the New Year be SMART, have fun and set those fitness goals!

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