Successful fitness results and results in general requires determination, focus, and discipline but it doesn’t have to be as boring or hard as it sounds. In essence, it’s about establishing new habits of successful actions such as going to the gym and eating the right foods.

How do you establish new habits as part of your new healthier lifestyle? First you have to figure out what you want to achieve. The second step is to sit down and set measurable goals. A great help is the SMART type of goal setting - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).

A solid SMART plan will help you achieve your goals no matter what they are. It keeps you on track and reminds you of your priorities.  

Specific
Your plan should be a set of goals that you want to achieve and they have to be clearly defined. An example of a bad type of goal that you should avoid is “I resolve to lose some weight”. Good examples of great goals are “I will lose 10 kilos within 12 weeks”. It also helps to answer the W-questions; who is involved, what do I want to accomplish, where will I do it, when do I expect results, what are the requirements, and why. The last, “why” is particularly important. If you can’t figure out why you should do something it’s best not to do it at all.

As with all goal setting, it’s a great idea to write down your goals since this makes it real and conditions your mind towards that goal. It’s also a great motivational push to look back at your previous goals when you have achieved them.

Measurable
Your progress should be measured and an easy way to start is by getting on the scale or trying to see what you can perform in a certain lift or movement.  Establish specific criteria for tracking and monitoring your progress and write down any noticeable changes in weight or strength to make sure you are on track. An easy and convenient way to log your progress is with one of our Workout Logs. Your progress will give you the confidence and motivation to keep on going.

Attainable
Your goals needs to be attainable. It’s better to start with small subgoals to give you a sense of accomplishment rather than going for the huge end goal without anything in between.

The goals should be challenging, but not to the extreme since this often leads to discouragement.  

Realistic
Some people set unrealistic goals and want a quick fix but unfortunately it doesn’t work this way. No one gets fit in one afternoon or in a week. Setting too lofty goals will destroy your motivation since you won’t get any sense of accomplishment even if your progress is great. The goal is always too far away and unattainable.

Be realistic and you will get there eventually.  

Time bound
Keeping track of time is very important because it helps you know if you are on track and also creates a sense of urgency. Whether your goals are short term or long term, they should have a set deadline for when you want to accomplish them. When you check in on your time-bound goals you will know if you are on the right track or if you need to change something.

Transformations doesn’t happen overnight so be patient as you continue with your workout and nutritional fitness plan.

In summary, SMART planning involves taking the time to sit down and write down your goals. Your goals have to be specific and measurable and also something that you can achieve. Make sure they are realistic for you and restrict the time you have to accomplish them.

You will probably run into minor setbacks but that’s OK, make adjustments and keep on going. Enjoy the journey! And don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach your goals!