When Taking your first steps (or the next step) to becoming physically active, Goal Setting is an important part of staying motivated an making sure what your doing at the gym is helping you towards what you really want from your training. You should put some thought into making your goal by following this acronym: S.M.A.R.T
Thats Right you should be aiming to create a S.M.A.R.T. Goal
S.M.A.R.T. Stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely
Specific goals are much easier to perform then just a general goal. For example "Lose Weight" is a general goal, a specific goal would be "Lose 10 pounds of Fat in 6 weeks."
Measurable means you need to be able to track your progress on your goal. If your goal is to get stronger you can track it by writing down the weight you use at each exercise every time. If your Goal is to lose fat, Get skinfold tests done. Make sure that there is a way to measure your goals, even if it's just a weekly picture of yourself
Attainable means making your goals able to get. Say you have a year long goal (Lose 100 pounds) , break it down into 2 six month goals (Lose 50 pounds in 6 months), then break it down further and further until you have a weekly goal to reach (1.5 pounds a week). Along with your main goal make additional goals to go along with it such as cutting out sugars on weekdays by _________, or going to the gym 4 times a week instead of 3 by __________. You also have to make the goal challenging, if it's something you know you can complete, then it's not a good goal. Aim for something you think is impossible for yourself to do, then make goals to work towards that main goal. But at the same time be ...
Realistic. This may be one of the most important guidelines to creating a goal. The average person should aim to only lose about 1-2 pounds of fat weekly through proper diet and exercise. Many Television shows like the biggest loser have huge weight losses each week for a few reasons 1) The participants are morbidly obese which means they can lose a lot more weight, and a lot of it is water weight each week 2) All they do is exercise, they don't have television or movies to sit and watch all day, they aren't working for 8 hours a day then going to the gym, their job is working out. So making a Goal like "Lose 15 pounds in a week" is not a realistic goal. You must be both willing and able to work towards this goal or else it is not realistic.
Timely You need to give your self a set time or day to get your goal accomplished by. Saying I want to lose 10 pounds is a good start but by when? Giving yourself a time limit makes you more motivated to do the work each day. It gives you that sense of urgency to get things done.
Remember if you don't reach your goal by your set date, take a step back and look at what you've got accomplished up until that point, look at what worked, and what didn't work for you and find ways to fix them. Ways to stay strict to your goal is by writing it down (In pen) and giving it to someone you trust, so you can't change your goal. Make a contract out of it to yourself to reach that goal, don't change your goal half way through or two weeks in or else it will defeat the purpose.
Goal Setting isn't just for New Athletes, people who have been exercising for years should have there own personal goals. Don't just set goals for training too, set them for your life.
CSEP - Certified Personal Trainer (2011-Current)
General Manager - 360 Fitness Sherwood Park
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