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Setting Goals: How to be Smart and improve your chances of success on your fitness journey

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Setting fitness goals is a fantastic way to improve your health, fitness, and well-being. Fitness goals can help you stay motivated, focused, and accountable. They can also help you measure your progress and celebrate your achievements. However, not all fitness goals are created equal. Some goals may be too vague, unrealistic, or irrelevant to your needs and preferences. To set effective fitness goals, you need to follow some key principles and strategies. Here are some tips on how to set realistic and achievable fitness goals.


Use the SMART method. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the criteria that make a good fitness goal.

For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, you can say “I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months by following a balanced diet and exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week”. This goal is specific (it states what you want to do and how), measurable (it has a clear target and a way to track it), achievable (it is within your capabilities and resources), relevant (it aligns with your values and interests), and time-bound (it has a deadline and a timeframe).

woman at top of mountain acheiving goals

Take Baby Steps

Break down your goal into smaller steps. Your goal may be something big and long-term, such as running a 5km fun run or perhaps even a marathon. However, trying to achieve such a goal without a plan can be overwhelming and discouraging. To make it more manageable, you need to break it down into smaller, short-term goals that lead you to your ultimate goal. For example, if you want to run a 5km fun run in 4 months' time or a marathon next year, you can set monthly goals such as running a certain distance or time, increasing your speed or endurance, or joining a running club or event.

Be Accountable

Monitor your progress regularly. One of the benefits of setting SMART goals is that they allow you to track your progress easily. You can use various tools and methods to monitor your progress, such as a journal, a calendar, an app, or a wearable device. You can also use objective measures such as weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, or fitness tests. Monitoring your progress can help you see how far you have come, identify what works and what doesn’t, and adjust your goals accordingly.

Be Adaptable

Adapt to changing circumstances. Life is unpredictable and sometimes things happen that can interfere with your fitness goals. You may get sick, injured, busy, or bored. Instead of giving up on your goals, you need to adapt to the changing circumstances and find ways to overcome the challenges. For example, if you sprain your ankle, you can switch to low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling until you recover. If you have a hectic schedule, you can squeeze in some mini-workouts throughout the day or wake up earlier to exercise. If you lose interest in your routine, you can try something new or fun such as dancing. Or perhaps something you need something a little more calming? Why not try some pilates.

Be kind

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Setting fitness goals is not about being perfect or punishing yourself. It’s about improving yourself and enjoying the process. You may not always meet your goals or expectations, but that doesn’t mean you have failed or wasted your efforts. Instead of being harsh or critical of yourself, you should be compassionate and supportive of yourself. Recognize your achievements, no matter how small or big they are. Reward yourself for your hard work and dedication. Learn from your mistakes and setbacks. And most importantly, have fun and celebrate your fitness journey.

Being Smart will improve your chances of success on your fitness journey

Setting fitness goals can be an exciting and rewarding experience if you do it right. By being smart with goal setting you will improve your chances of success on your fitness journey, remember to set realistic and achievable fitness goals that suit your needs and preferences. Let me know in the comments below the goals you have set yourself.

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