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Setting Fitness Goals

By Eri Anton


All of us have goals in life. For some they are dreams and for others they are detailed plans ready for execution. Whatever you want to achieve setting goals and working towards them is important. Without a clear path to what you want to achieve it is hard to get there by chance. I like SMART goals which are:

S – specific

M – measurable

A – attainable

R – relevant

T – time bound

Set a specific fitness goal -This could be to lose or gain weight. You want to be as specific as you can like lose 10 pounds or improve your strength to be able to bench press 100 lbs. If it isn’t clear, you can't measure it. By setting a clear goal, you’ll have a clear direction and a solid place to start.

Write it down and measure yourself against it - Make sure you write down the goal and post it somewhere that it will be visible at least daily. Writing down goals is a great way to ensure ownership and commitment. Based on your goal you need to determine how to measure yourself. If it is weight loss or gain maybe you jump on a scale every week to see your progress. It could be daily measurement of your calories. The more forms of action you are taking the more you can measure. When measuring yourself, there are leading and lagging indicators. A lagging indicator is the scale, as the result which is your weight is shown after you do the right things. Daily calorie intake is a leading indicator meaning if you eat right each day you should see your weight drop.

Make it attainable – if you have no hope of ever achieving your goal you won’t. If your goal is to lose 50 lbs. make your goal smaller like 5 pounds in 3 weeks. Once you achieve it, you can work to lose another 5 pounds. Making a goal too big make's it discouraging and you need to have wins to keep going. Many of your goals can be short term goals that lead to a bigger goal for the long term. If you make it attainable it becomes more meaningful when you make progress.

Relevant - This is a great time to review the specifics you wrote down. Break down the goal into bite sized pieces. A goal has to have relevant actions that would be taken to meet the goal. So you can’t starve yourself, you need to eat proper nutrients for your body to work so make sure your actions are relevant to what you want to achieve.

Establish a Time Table, make it attainable - not only is making a goal realistic vital to success, but also establishing realistic times in your schedule to do it! Organize time each day, and block out that time. Remember this isn’t something that you can do without focus, it has to be structured and undisturbed. You need to know what is realistic, so if you want to lose fat your body can only drop 1.5 – 2 pounds of fat per week, so if you want to lose 10 pounds of fat it will take about 5 weeks.

Now that you have established everything you need you’re ready to do it! Push yourself, there will, no doubt, be times when your goal will fall short. The same is true for your fitness goals, don’t get discouraged if one of them fails. The last step of this process is to evaluate what was successful and what wasn’t, adjust and start again.