Setting Fitness Goals

When it comes to goal-setting, if you know how to set effective goals, you can apply your goal-setting skills to any area of your life. These tips will help you with setting effective goals in any area of your life.

You may already be familiar with SMART goals, this is a method of setting goals that helps make it easier to reach. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I’m going to break down each of those aspects and help you apply them to setting a fitness goal.


Specific – Being specific in your goal will help you to focus and take the steps necessary to reach it. Saying “My goal is to be fit” doesn’t really give you a clear idea of what you want to achieve.

Measurable – Having a way to measure whether you have reached your goal is important or you won’t know you’ve gotten there or how close you are. Going back to the example of “My goal is to be fit”, there’s not a way to measure whether this goal has been achieved because “being fit” isn’t really measurable.

Attainable – Setting a goal that’s not realistic will set you up for failure. I’ll use myself as an example, I’m 5’9 so a goal of weighing 100 pounds would be unattainable for me, it’s completely unrealistic. When setting a weight goal, it’s important to be aware of what a healthy weight range is for your height and body frame.

Relevant – If what you really want is to have muscular arms, you probably shouldn’t set the goal of doing 100 squats per week. Squats are not relevant to your desire for muscular arms. Make sure you’re setting goals that make sense with what you’re looking to accomplish for yourself.

Time-based – Having a deadline attached to your goal will make it easier to achieve. It’s easier to break down the steps needed to reach your goal when there is an end date in mind for reaching it.

In addition to fitting the SMART guidelines, when it comes to fitness goals, I recommend setting some goals based in action instead of only on outcomes. Sometimes you can’t fully control the outcome, but you can control the action it requires to work towards that outcome.

Here are a few examples of SMART goals:

  • In 12 weeks, I will run a half marathon in 2 hours by doing 2 pace training runs per week leading up to the race.
  • I will lose 10 pounds in 3 months by tracking my macros/calories everyday and jogging twice a week.
  • By the end of this year, I will squat 300 lbs for 1 rep by progressively building up my leg strength in weekly leg sessions.

So, maybe it’s time for you to sit down and take a few minutes to restructure the goals you’ve been working towards to make them more effective. Having effective goals can actually help you to better structure your training program, set appropriate daily nutrition targets, and finally feel like you’re making progress!

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