Getting fit in 2019 with SMART goals
The new year is the most popular time for people to make changes to their routines and think about achieving new goals. One of the most effective organisational methods to help you achieve your health and fitness objectives is the SMART goal system. Read below for details on how you can use this method to get you on track for 2019.
When designing a SMART goal, the first step is to be specific in identifying what your goal will be. ‘Being fitter’ is pretty ambiguous, try something more tangible such as ‘losing a pants size’ or ‘running a half marathon’. These parameters will then determine what actions you can purposely undertake to meet this objective, and how you will know when you have achieved your goal.
A goal that’s measurable should have some sort of performance metric attached. This is so you can objectively determine where you fitness is currently at, versus where you want it to be. So, what is the target that you’re aiming for – a certain number of reps, or distance-based? Is it a time sensitive goal like running continuously for 30 mins, or weight determined like squatting 80kgs? Whatever your goal is, putting some sort of number, or aspect that can be measured, makes it even more tangible and real!
You certainly should make a goal challenging, but it needs to be realistically attainable with the time and resources that you’re prepared to commit to realising it. So be ambitious, but practical, when defining what you want from your fitness. This may mean consulting an expert, like a personal trainer, who’s experienced with knowing how long it normally takes to get strong enough to complete 10 chin ups, or how many kilometres you should aim to complete in a spin class in Port Melbourne.
Having a relevant goal ties into how achievable it is. A realistic goal takes your situation into account, such as having (or making) the time to fit in more workouts, or affording more organic produce. Thinking about relevancy might make you redefine your original goal in terms of the time you want to achieve it, or whether it will take you where you want to go in the longer term. To do this, consider the most likely outcomes that your goal will lead to, and if they sound like things you want in your life.
Your goal needs a time target, so define the end date by which it should be achieved. Also, don’t forget to set a start date, to avoid all the empty promises like ‘the diet starts tomorrow.’ Then, define the frequency of your goal, which is how often you will work towards making it happen. At the conclusion of all this planning, you should have a SMART goal that clearly states what you want to achieve, as well as how and when you will go about doing this. For example, ‘starting January 30th I will attend a yoga class in Mentone on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays until March 30th.’ If you have a larger and longer term aim, feel free to make a series of smaller SMART goals that will help you get closer to completing that half ironman or ultra-marathon.