S.M.A.R.T. Goals - How to Create a Fitness Goal to Reach

How do you use S.M.A.R.T. goals to get healthy and fit? Life is what you make it, and behaviors and decisions drive the outcomes. Many plans sound great but do not change your life or help you grow.

How to avoid non-S.M.A.R.T. goals

The best goals that will change your life are S.M.A.R.T. goals. These allow you to set Specific goals that are Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific. The best advice comes from experience.

An example of a non-S.M.A.R.T. goal that will probably fail is “to be successful.”

There is nothing wrong with success, but it is not a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, or time-specific goal. The first problem it presents is in defining what success is. Because it is not specific, it is subject to change as the person grows and learns.

Having a big house and a luxury car might be considered a success for a young person, but as they grow older and their views about life change, so will their opinions about success. A vague goal creates a moving finish line that continues to change as the person does.

The second problem the goal presents is that you can’t measure it. A measurable goal has a quantitative component. How do you determine with numbers what is success? It would help if you defined what success means to you. A better goal you can use is to lose 50 pounds or save a million dollars.

The third problem with the goal is that it is not attainable as the person does not even know where the finish line is. Goals like being successful have moving and forgettable finish lines. What was I talking about again? Never understand the power of greed and fear. Many eating disorders and criminal activities begin as unattainable goals.

The fourth problem is that it is not time-specific with an established finish line and deadline. Of the five S.M.A.R.T requirements, the only applicable one is realistic, but this remains uncertain until the person defines what success means and how much time it takes to succeed.

How to use S.M.A.R.T. goals to get healthy and fit

A better S.M.A.R.T. goal than the none S.M.A.R.T. goal of “to be successful” would be to “become a senior executive in seven to ten years.” Becoming a senior executive in seven to ten years will change a person’s life because it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-specific.

Let’s look at how this goal fulfills the S.M.A.R.T parameters.

SPECIFIC – Everyone can agree on what a senior executive is and is not. It is not a vague goal like “I want to be successful.” MEASURABLE – It either is or is not completed within the allotted time of seven to ten years. ATTAINABLE – The start and finish lines are well-defined, and there is enough time to complete them. REALISTIC – The goal is practical with the proper education and adequate time to acquire the experience to become a senior executive. TIME-SPECIFIC – It will take the person seven to ten years to complete the goal.

How S.M.A.R.T. goals can change your life

Becoming a senior executive is more life-changing because it is a S.M.A.R.T. goal that is more likely to be achieved. S.M.A.R.T. goals allow you to create behaviors that increase your self-esteem and develop you. The journey is more important than the destination because it lasts longer and affects you more.

However, sometimes it isn’t easy to see the forest for the trees, and that is where an experienced life coach can guide people to reach their financial, spiritual, career, social, and health goals. A life coach can provide guidance and make behavior-driven suggestions and S.M.A.R.T goal-centered.

How do you use S.M.A.R.T. goals to get healthy and fit?

Some examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals you can use to get healthy and fit are:

  • Lose 1 pound a week for three months
  • Workout for thirty minutes three times a week for three months.
  • Eat 2000 calories or less for two months.
  • Increase one rep bench press max by 50 pounds in 2 months

Notice how specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-specific each of these goals is. Another thing about these goals is that they complement each other and address diet, exercise, and body measurements. You need to identify at least three S.M.A.R.T. goals to help you get healthy and fit.

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By Terry Clark

Terry Clark, M.S. is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, nutritionist, bodybuilding coach, writer, and fitness enthusiast. Terry loves working out, math, music, chess, cooking, writing, and teaching.