Specific – Define your goals in as much detail as possible. If you want to exercise more, how many times a week will you work out? What sort of exercise will you do? How long will it take? Getting specific removes the guesswork and gives your goal boundaries.
Measurable – Your progress should be measurable in some way. This serves two functions; firstly, it allows you to adjust the goal if needed. Secondly, if you are feeling a bit defeated, you can look back on the progress you’ve made, which will inspire you to keep going!
Achievable – If you haven’t been physically active for a while, a goal of 5 workouts a week probably isn’t realistic (at least not straightaway!). Be realistic about where you are and what you can achieve in a certain timeframe. Small steps are better than not moving at all!
Relevant – Your goals should reflect what you want to achieve, not Jim or Nancy across the road. If you want to exercise more, what are your motivations? Perhaps you want to get fitter to play with your grandkids. Or maybe you want to be steadier on your feet when out and about. Think about your ‘why’, and the ‘answer’ (your goal) will become clearer.
Timely – If you don’t set a timeframe for achieving your goal, it becomes easy to take your foot off the accelerator… or stop entirely! Setting a deadline adds an element of pressure and spurs you on towards a specific date. If you don’t reach your goal in time, that’s okay! Review the goal, set a new deadline and keep moving forward.