Getting ‘SMART’ about what you want to accomplish is key to success
Have you set fitness goals that didn’t work out? It’s common. Pushing yourself mentally and physically is challenging and sticking to your journey through it all is another.
Here are some ways that can help you reach your fitness goals — this year and every year. Ditch old habits, create new ones, and improve your health and overall well-being.
Setting ‘SMART’ goals
Setting “SMART” goals is a helpful method that will hopefully increase the probabilities of you achieving your fitness goals.
The acronym stands for:
You must be specific when setting your fitness goals. You need have a clear, realistic vision of what you’re trying to achieve and ways to measure your progress. Although the process should be challenging, it should not be impossible. You must consider the limits of your time, resources and physical abilities. By creating deadlines, you will create a sense of urgency. Choose a start and end time when you think the goal can be accomplished and work every day to inch closer to it.
When setting goals for yourself, setting SMART ones is the first step.
Switch it up
To remain engaged with your fitness goals, it’s important for activities to not be too repetitive. Switching up the activities and movements you participate in can keep things fresh and allow you to remain excited about reaching your goals. If you tend to lean toward more high-intensity cardio workouts, try including some resistance training into your schedule. If you often choose to lift heavy weights, try doing some endurance training such as running or cycling.
Fitness classes are also a great way to try exercises that you may not know. Kickboxing, yoga and barre are examples of instructor-led classes that can typically be found in most areas. Fitness is more than just workouts. Dancing, running around the yard with your kids, water sports, skiing, or even house cleaning are all ways that can push you one step closer to meeting your goals. Do not be timid about going outside of your comfort zone. The key is to keep things fun and interesting.
Join a community
Many people have experienced days when they don’t feel motivated to work out. Having a support system can make the process feel much more attainable.
Here are some ways you might find support to help you stay motivated:
- Training partners
- Social media groups with members who have similar goals
- Joining a gym
- Attending group classes
- Virtual fitness coaches and/or teammates
- Fitness apps
When you are a part of something, you feel a sense of responsibility to your community and yourself to give your best efforts. Keeping your support system accountable, as well as keeping yourself accountable, will propel the entire community into the direction of their objectives.
When setting out to achieve certain goals, it’s better to start small. If you have a very big goal, break it down into smaller, more manageable ones. When attempting to make changes, it’s much more feasible to alter one behavior at a time rather than attempting multiple changes simultaneously.
If you set a very ambitious goal, it’s possible to get discouraged and eventually give up. Make each goal measurable. Measurable goals can be tracking the distance you can run in 30 minutes, counting how many steps you get in a day, tracking weight gain or loss, or being able to measure physical effort through tracking heart rate. Slowly chipping away at each will lead you to overall goals that become maintained lifestyle changes.
Long-term changes are made through consistently achieving small goals over time. Without consistency, there is a lack of organization, effort and development. Building a routine is a huge step towards consistency. Start each week with a clear vision of what needs to get done. Use calendars, apps, agenda notebooks or any other tool that will allow you to organize your thoughts and tasks.
Creating any habit is the result of consistent behavior. To create good habits that can lead you toward your goals, you must behave in a manner that will aid in achieving these goals. Consistent behaviors and actions will increase the probability and rate at which you meet your goals. Consistency regarding fitness is also important for the development of your body and ability. To meet certain physical goals, you must gradually adapt your body to meet them.
Know your ‘why’
When setting any goal, knowing why you’re doing it is crucial to your success. When setting your fitness goals, ask yourself why this goal is important. Is it to improve your health? Are you looking to relieve stress? Or are you looking to create a certain aesthetic? Having a clear why will increase the possibility that you will succeed.