In my last blog post I suggested that for Active October you set yourself SMART fitness related goals and outline which action steps you will take to achieve them. There is a huge difference between SMART goals and vague goals, lets have a look at a couple of examples and the various components of SMART goals.
Vague goal: “I want to get stronger”
SMART goal: “I will do 30 minutes of strength training, three times each week for the month of October because I want to get stronger and reduce my risk of osteoporosis. I will train before work and will mark off each day in my calendar.”
Can you see how the type of goal you set might affect the outcome? And that is before you even get started.
Image from Home Philosophy
Specific: you are more likely to accomplish a descriptive goal than a general goal. I recommend you write out your goal and display it somewhere you will see it often alternatively use a motivational vision board but try to address the 5 W’s. Who? What? Where? Why? and Which? We will address a 6th W later.
Measurable: depending on your fitness goal you can measure it by doing a fitness test at the start and end of the month, check the scales, cross off on a calendar each day that you exercise, record your measurements or take before and after progress photos.
Attainable: Can you spare 6 hours a week to exercise at the gym or are you way too busy running a business and looking after a family? If you are not able to dramatically alter your life to suit your goals then set a different goal, one more suited to your current situation.
Relevant & realistic: Your goals must be relevant to yourself, so choose something that is important/interesting to you, this relates back to the Why question we asked earlier. Similarly there is no point setting yourself a goal to run a marathon in a month if you have barely run a day in your life. A more realistic goal would be to run 5 kms and if you google ‘couch to 5kms’ you will find online programs and smart phone apps to guide you.
Timely: This is the 6th W, When? If we don’t set ourselves a deadline we run the risk of putting off our action steps and are less likely to achieve our goal. You can use the end of October as your deadline or consider signing up (and paying) for an event (i.e. true grit, a charity fun run or a fitness competition) that you have to train for. Once you have set yourself a date ask yourself each day “what can I do today to reach my goal?”
Now I want to ask you, are your goals SMART? If not, now is your chance to revise them.
Good luck setting up your goals and don’t forget to share them in the comments below or on Facebook so that we can help hold you accountable.