Setting and Sticking to Your Health and Fitness Goals
As we enter the month of February, you may find yourself losing steam when it comes to sticking to your health and fitness goals. Maybe the goals you set are too challenging, not realistic or attainable. Perhaps you stopped tracking your progress along the way and lost motivation to hold yourself accountable. The good news is you can get back on track! The key is to start small with goals that are not only challenging, but also set you up for success.
Utilizing SMART Goals
Try to utilize SMART goals. SMART goals are process oriented objectives that create a path to success. SMART goals break down your goals into specifics. For example, “I want to get in shape” is a typical outcome-oriented health goal. However, “For the next month I will walk 3 miles at a brisk pace on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 am” or “Over the next 8 weeks I will perform strength training twice a week to include 12 repetitions of a total of 10 total exercises for upper body, lower body, and core” are both specific SMART fitness goals.
Setting Your Goal
So how do you create a SMART GOAL? Let’s break it down further:
S: Specific. Your goal should be detailed and clearly defined.
M: Measurable. Your goal needs to be measurable in a specific period by days, minutes, or other units. You must define a beginning and end. This will allow you to track progress accurately.
A: Attainable or Achievable. Your goal should be attainable and achievable within the timeframe you established. You want your goal to push abilities but remain possible.
R: Relevant or Realistic. Your goal should be relevant to your unique lifestyle. It should also be realistic enough that you can attain it within the specified time frame.
T: Timely or Time Oriented. The time component is critical to keep you on track and focused.
Sticking With Your Goal
Once you have identified your SMART goal, how do you stick with it?
A few ideas include: keeping a journal, use a trackable device such as an app or monitoring device, use a daily checklist or schedule your activity in your weekly planner, partner up with a friend or health coach to help keep you accountable, join a gym or exercise club, make fitness social by joining a club (walking, tennis club, pickleball league, etc.). Most importantly, remember to celebrate your success!
Need some inspiration? Try one of these fitness activities.