Setting SMART Goals
Posted by Century Support Services on May 01, 2021
The first Saturday in May is National Fitness Day! If you haven’t already, it’s the perfect time to set some new health and fitness goals. We have some fundamental reasons those goals should be SMART Goals. Here’s how to start SMART to get fit in 2021.
What Does S.M.A.R.T. Stand for?
State exactly what you want to achieve, rather than something vague like “improve my health”. This helps you stay focused and develop a practical plan. When crafting this specific goal, ask yourself some important questions:
- What do you want to achieve? (e.g. lifting X number of pounds at the gym, lowering your blood pressure by “this much”, Walk 10,000 steps/day for X days)
- Why is it important to you? (If it’s not important, you won’t stick with it)
- Who else will know about it? (Sharing the goal with a trusted friend helps you stay accountable)
- How do you plan to attain this goal? (Don’t forget the plan)
How will you know when you achieved your fitness goal? Make sure you can measure the outcome. Today that can track and measure various health indicators using devices. Making it measurable keeps you from “lying to yourself” about whether you’ve reached the goal.
Setting lofty goals will discourage you, so set a lower, attainable goal first—just high enough that you’ll need to stretch to reach it. Blow that goal out of the water, and then set a new SMART goal to get even healthier.
The goal should actually matter. If you’re already a “healthy” weight, will losing another five pounds make any difference in your fitness level? If being well and staying active are your ultimate health goals in life, then create a SMART goal that works toward those objectives.
Set a clear timeframe for completing this goal because once you do, you can move onto the next one. Grow healthier and more fit year after year. Write down your SMART goal with the specific date you plan to achieve that goal. Then, create a plan to achieve it. For example, let’s say you plan to get your fasting blood glucose down to X in six months by improving your diet and exercise routine if you check your blood sugar each or month, then set smaller monthly goals of lowering it by so much. Now, you know you’re on track to meet your six-month goal.
Fitness and Health SMART Goal Examples
It’s always helpful to see some examples, so here you go. Feel free to steal any you like.
- Lower my blood pressure from 130/85 to 120/80 by August 31.
- Increase lean muscle mass by 10% by December 31. You’ll need a scale that measures body fat percentage for this one.
- Walk every workday after lunch for 20 minutes for one month.
- Limit my added sugar intake to 20 grams/day for one month.
- Don’t drink a soda for three months.
- Run 10 miles without stopping by March 1.
Start Using SMART Goals in Other Areas of Your Life
Once you see how effective SMART goals can be, you’ll want to use them to improve all kinds of things like your “Financial Fitness“. Set goals to cook more meals at home (a health and financial goal), pay off credit card debt, start saving for your next big expense. With SMART Goals, you can increase your financial health year after year instead of feeling like you’re falling further behind. Now, get out there and start reaching your goals.
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