How to Set and Achieve SMART Fitness Goals


To find success in achieving your goals, consider how SMART they are. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. By learning to set SMART goals for yourself, you will be able to reach the level of fitness you desire. Perhaps you are recovering from an injury, working towards a title, or learning a new sport. No matter what your end game is, here is how to set and achieve SMART fitness goals.


Set the Right Goals

Usually, people don’t reach their goals because they fail to meet the first criteria of SMART goals: specific. If your goal is vague, such as, I want to become a runner, it is unlikely to happen. When setting a goal, consider carefully each letter of SMART. Begin with “S”. Choose a goal that pertains to the larger goal, but is more specific. In this case, you could write “I will run a 5k.” Then, make your way through the rest of the acronym ensuring that your goal meets each criterion.


Write It Down

Writing down your goals makes them more attainable because then they seem more real. For each letter of the acronym “SMART,” consider if your specific goal meets the criteria. Say, for example, your specific goal is “I will run a marathon” but you are starting as a complete novice runner. This goal would not meet the timely criteria since it would likely take you at least a year to achieve. Breaking down your goals into manageable, bite-size pieces will help you be more likely to reach them!


Maintain and Achieve Your Goal

The piece of paper you wrote your SMART goal on should now be placed somewhere visible, like the fridge. Reminding yourself of what you are trying to achieve will help it stay in the forefront of your mind. Ask a loved one to help hold you accountable. For example, if you would like to run a 5k, you could ask a friend to jog with you each morning.


If you have never set a SMART goal before, try it out with something you really want to happen. You might be surprised that how narrowing your focus can help you achieve fitness goals you never thought possible!