When New Year’s Resolutions, Set S.M.A.R.T. Fitness Goals.

Welcome to 2010.  As we enter into this new decade, many are considering their resolutions for the New Year.  Most resolutions center on fitness or weight loss. It is important to remember that when someone fails to achieve their fitness or weight loss goal it is generally because their goal is not S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. is a great acronym to classify fitness goals.  It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.  This acronym hits all of the important aspects of a fitness goal.  In the list below, I explain each aspect and provide an example of a goal that fits.

Specific: To make a goal specific, you must focus in on exactly what you would like to accomplish.  For example, instead of saying I want to lose weight this year, be more specific.  I would like to lose ten pounds.

Measurable: Weight loss is a perfect example of measurable goal.  It is something that can be quantified.  Success can be charted and progress seen.  Losing ten pounds is measurable.   Weight loss can be easily measured on the scale.

Attainable: For a goal to be attainable, it must be realistic.  Set a goal that is challenging, but not overwhelming.  For example, when setting a weight loss goal, shoot for one to two pounds per week.  If you attempt to lose 30 pounds in two weeks, there is a very good chance you will not reach that goal.  You would be setting yourself up for disappointment and ultimately failure.

Relevant: A goal is relevant when it correlates to what your fitness routine is focused on.  If you are trying to lose weight, it would be a big mistake to set a goal to bench press 150 pounds.  A goal should be set to lose a certain amount of pounds or inches.

Timely: To make a goal timely, simply set a time table to achieve it.  If you would like to lose ten pounds, set a date by which you would like to achieve that goal.

Two examples of S.M.A.R.T. goals follow.

“I need to lose weight.  I would like to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks.”
“I would like to run a half marathon this year.  I will increase my endurance by one half mile per week for 26 weeks.”

These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

I wish you the best of luck in your fitness journey this year!

By: Jim Bompensa

Jim Bompensa has been a health club owner and manager, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition specialist for the nearly 15 years. He is currently the owner/operator of Body Physics Fitness Center in Haddonfield, NJ. Jim has appeared and contributed on ABC and NBC in Philadelphia, PA as well as Designing Spaces on TLC.

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