When making goals they should be S.M.A.R.T meaning;
Specific- What is your goal? Be clear and concise when defining your goal. Is it important to you? Why? E.g. General goal: “I will eat more fruit and vegetables” E.g. Specific goal: “I will eat 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables per day.”
Measurable- It is easier to track progress if goals are quantifiable. E.g. “I will go for a 20 minute brisk walk every day.” Or distance goal: “I will run 3 km every week.”
Attainable- Set goals within your physical limits. Is the goal challenging and reasonable? Do not be afraid to challenge yourself. Keep in mind the goal should match your fitness level.
Realistic- Manage your expectations. Does your goal fit your immediate and long term plans?
Time- Oriented – Your objective should include a time frame and an agenda to reach your goal. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to reach your goal.
You have set a goal and a time frame to achieve it. Take a few moments to access if this goal fits your fitness level and current skill ability.
Periodically it is a good idea to assess the goal set and see if we need to make any changes. It is easy to get excited when starting towards a new goal. This can cause us to over-reach and set a goal that might be too challenging to meet within the time frame we set. On the other hand we can be too cautious and set a goal that is too easily met before the determined time frame.
Ask yourself can you easily achieve the goal before the time you hope to reach it? If the answer is yes, you may want to see what you can do to revise your goal to increase the challenge. If the answer is no, then you may have over-reached and you can revise the goal to fit your skill and fitness level. It can be beneficial to set small goals/ milestones that build up to meeting your main goal. This can help to see if you are on track to meet your goal and keep you motivated.
REWARD YOURSELF Give yourself rewards for good behavior or reaching sub-goals. Decide in advance what each reward will be and how you will earn it. Tie rewards to specific goals or sub-goals. Try to avoid rewards that include food or alcohol. Here are some examples of rewards: going for a massage, going to a movie, shopping for a new outfit, having a rest day from the gym.
Plan for challenges Situations and people may derail you from your program. Try to plan for setbacks and how you will cope with them.
Accountability Make a personal contract The contract should include a statement of your goal and commitment to reach it. Details such as:
Steps you will take to measure your progress
Strategies you will use to promote change
Date you expect to reach your final goal
Have a friend or family member sign your contract as a witness.
Post your goal on Social media Tell as many people about your goal. The more people that know the better.
Join a group Look for like minded people to support each other to stay accountable. Running club,cycling group,swim club, walking group...