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Creating Goals

One of the hardest things to do when faced with a new task is trying to figure out where to start.  How many times have each of us sat down to start writing a paper (or even this article), and wondered where to begin?  The same thing happens when we start a fitness program.

Instead of asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Ask yourself, “Where do I want to get to?”  The “what” is the most important step to take before the “how”.

Some important things to consider before setting goals:

  • What do I want from this step? (Weight loss, muscle building, maintenance)

  • How much time do I have to exercise?

  • What access to equipment do I have?

  • What do I love to do?

We often think about the first three in the bulleted list above, but we often forget about the things that we “love” to do.  Sure, starting a fitness program as challenging, but it is also important to make it fun for YOU!  

So now, we are ready to define our goals...but before we do that, we should remember a few things.

  • Make your goals POSITIVE!

    • Example: “I will go to the gym three times each week”, instead of, “I won’t miss a workout.”

  • Avoid setting TOO many goals

    • Sometimes we get eager and want SO much.  Keep your goals simple and the number low to start.  You can always add more goals later!

So what should your goals look like?

Your goals should follow the SMART principle:

  • Specific:  Goals must be clear, stating exactly what you want to accomplish:

    • Example: “I want to reach my goal weight of 160 pounds.”

  • Measurable: You have to know that you’ve reached your goal. To do this, the goal must be measurable in some way.

    • Example: I want to do perform HIIT workouts 3x per week for 10 weeks.

  • Attainable: Your goal should be realistically attainable.  Being able to reach your goal reinforces the positive behavior change and makes you feel great!

    • Example: I want to lose 1 pound per week.

  • Relevant: Your goal should make sense to you, and be in align with what you want to accomplish. If your goal is to build muscle mass, you wouldn’t do a program that is cardio based

    • Example: I want to do do a specific strength training program 4 times per week.

  • Time-bound: You need to set a timeline for when you want to have reached each of your goals.

    • Example: I want to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks.

By following these guideline for creating goals, you will have yourself on your way to success!