Set Goals the SMART Way

Healthier You with Body Renew

One of the best ways to ensure success in the gym is through setting appropriate goals. Unrealistic, vague goals will set you up for failure from the start. By using the SMART method, you will have a clear path to follow along your fitness journey.

  • Specific- Be specific so you know when you’ve reached the goal. A specific goal is, “I want to lose 20 pounds,” versus, “I want to lose weight.” Another example is, “I want to Bench Press 150 pounds,” instead of, “I want to get stronger.” A medical goal could be, “I want to lower my blood pressure to get off my medicine,” versus, “ I want to be healthier.”
  • Measurable- Use quantitative data instead of emotions or feelings to track your progress. Improvements can be noted by increasing numbers of repetitions, heavier resistance, longer endurance during cardio, smaller clothes sizes, and pounds lost, just to name a few.
  • Attainable- Pushing your limits is a good idea in the gym. But aiming too high with your goals can be defeating. For example, you and a friend shouldn’t set the same weight loss goal if she weighs 200 pounds more than you. That physically wouldn’t be attainable for you.
  • Realistic- Attainable and realistic go hand-in-hand. A goal must be realistic for your personal preferences and physical limitations. It should be something you are interested in, not what someone else says you should achieve. It should also be something that realistically fits into your schedule. An athletic goal of participating in your first triathlon can be very exciting! However, if you can only dedicate two days a week to training, a triathlon is probably not realistic at this point and time.
  • Time-Bound- Having an appropriate timeline to achieve your goal is vital to your success. With too little time, you will feel doomed and unable to meet the mark. With too much time, you will put off the hard work and lose your momentum.

Start by establishing a few long-term SMART goals. Here is an example, “I will lose 10% of my body weight by Christmas.” Another is, “I will increase my 1-rep max in the Bench Press by 40 pounds by September 1st.”

Then break down those goals into multiple short-term SMART goals. This will help you focus on the daily tasks needed to accomplish your ultimate goal. For example, “I will lose one pound a week until Christmas,” and “I will train my chest muscles three times a week with increasing resistance until September 1st.”

Now it’s your turn! Have yourself a healthy day!