Goal Setting: Why is it So Important?

Have you ever heard that a goal properly set is halfway reached?  Wikipedia defines goal setting as “the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward that objective.” An idea is just a dream until you write it down then it becomes an intention. The true misfortune in life is not being unable to reach your goal, but not having any goals at all. Don’t worry you don’t even have to be great to get started, but you have to start to become great. Everything can be accomplished if you break it down into smaller steps.

Applying SMART Goals To Your Fitness Workout

S is for “specific”

Every goal should be clearly defined, not vague. For example you might say “I want to lose weight, but how much weight. Instead try, “I want to lose 15 pounds and commit to lose 1 pound a week

M is for “measurable”

Can you measure your goal? If you say I want to be in shape, what does it mean? How can you measure this? If you improve this goal you could say “I want to be able to bike to work 3 times a week” or “I want to run 5 km without walking”.

A is for “action-oriented”

What are the steps you need to take to achieve it? For example, you could say “I want to run 5km without walking”. First week I will run for 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds, then the second week run 1m and walk 1m, the third week, I will run 1m, walk 30s. On the fourth week I will try to run the whole 5km without walking.

R is for “realistic” 

Planning to lose 20 pounds in 1 month equals 5 pounds a week, which is unrealistic. A pounds equals 3500 calories. It might be more realistic to aim for 1 pound a week. You can either cut 500 calories a day or cut 250 calories and burn 250 calories by adding extra physical activities. If you lose weight too fast it might be unhealthy and can be pretty discouraging if you are not reaching your goal. Also building your fitness level takes time, commitment and discipline to stay injury free. I often say to people its better to exercise 2-3 times a week but commit to it for months that doing it 6-7 days a weeks and stopping after a couple weeks. The same can be said about doing shorter workouts of 15-30 minutes each rather than 1-2 hours workout. Start slowly and progress from there.

T is for “timed”

You need to set a time to achieve what you want and also set mini-objectives and deadlines for these before you reach your main goal.

Goal Setting Worksheet

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which days of the week can I realistically workout and exercise?
  2. How much time can I commit to exercise each time?
  3. What barriers stop me from doing exercise? Be honest! For example: time, money, support, pain, discomfort, mental barriers, judgement, travel…
  4. List some strategies you could implement to help you remove your barriers. For example: having a personal trainer, having the support of your partner, finding a way to exercise that you enjoy…
  5. Set short term goals (1-3 months), medium term goals (3-6 months) and long term goals (6 months to a year).
  6. What are the steps I need to take in order to achieve my goal?
  7. What reward could I have to celebrate reaching my short term goal, medium term and long term goal.
  8. What will I gain by reaching my goal and how will you feel?

Different Workout Goal Ideas

  • lower my body fat
  • get stronger
  • run a marathon
  • master a skill (gymnastic, lifting weight, boxing, kayaking…)
  • make fitness part of my lifestyle
  • compete for an event
  • be part of a group
  • drink more water
  • be injury free and pain free
  • increase my mobility and flexibility
  • improve my form and technique

This will be part of the 8 week online program.