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How To Apply SMART Goals To Your Workout Plan

Most people start an exercise program with a goal or two in mind. Goals are important because they keep people motivated; however, it’s important to be working toward the right kind of goals in order to be successful. The most useful goals, according to many fitness experts, are SMART goals. The letters stand for the words “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “realistic,” and “time-related.”

A specific goal should be stated in a very clear, concrete way. For example, many people say, “I want to be healthier,” or “I want to look better,” but those goals are vague and subjective. A more specific version of those goals might be “I want to be able to run a 5K,” or “I want to lose 10 pounds.” When goals are specific, you will know exactly when you have attained them.

A goal should also be measurable. For example, instead of saying, “I want to improve my running time,” you might say, “I want to improve my running time by 1 minute.” When a goal is measurable, you can track your progress toward it and know when you have succeeded.

It’s also important to set attainable goals that you truly have a hope of achieving. The most common mistake people make in setting goals is to make the scope of a goal too big. “I want to lost 50 pounds before my class reunion,” for example, may not be a goal you can actually achieve in the amount of time you have. Trying to succeed at an unattainable goal just causes frustration and a lack of motivation.

A goal should not just be attainable; it should also be realistic. This means that it fits in with your other priorities in life. A goal to exercise one hour every day may be attainable in terms of your strength and stamina, but you may not really have a whole hour that you’re free to dedicate to exercise.

Finally, a goal should be time-related, meaning that it can be put on a calendar so that a clear deadline is established. When a larger goal is broken down into several steps, it is very helpful to have a time frame for completing each step in the process. For more advice about setting fitness goals, check out