If you’re trying to lose weight, get healthy, build muscle or excel at a sport, you’ll need SMART goals – Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. When you don’t have a specific goal, it’s difficult to keep exercising and to track your progress to see how far you’ve come. Keep in mind that you can have a variety of goals – Losing weight, getting in a certain number of workouts, improving your health or even just making better choices every day. Before you start working out, take a moment and ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to accomplish with this exercise program?
- Is my goal realistic and attainable?
- Do I know how to reach my goal?
- Do I have a timeline for reaching my goal?
- How will I reward myself when I get there?
For example, is it reasonable to want to lose 50 pounds in 6 months? It’s possible, but may not be reasonable unless you eat well and exercise every single day for the next 6 months. Weight loss is often harder than we think and it’s usually slower as well. Experts recommend that you lose no more than 1-2 pounds per week, but it isn’t likely that you’ll lose 2 pounds every single week and many people find they actually lose about .5 to 1 pound on a good week.
Keep in mind that: