Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Setting Goals for Exercise

Setting goals for exercise
When you have a target, you sometimes hit it and sometimes miss.  But if you don’t have a target, then you are guaranteed to miss it.  Setting a target for your exercise makes a lot of sense.
But be careful.  Targets are tricky.  It is helpful to remember that your goals need to be SMART: Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timebound
Specific and measurable: there is no point in setting a goal that is vague or cannot be measured.  “Exercise more” or “eat better” will just not work.  But “exercise for 30 mins at least twice a week” or “eat two pieces of fruit for breakfast every day” will.  You know what you’re expected to do and you can congratulate yourself when you’ve done it.
Achievable and relevant:  Don’t expect to run a marathon in less than 3 hours if you haven’t run for ten years!  Don’t enter a triathlon if you haven’t sorted front crawl yet!  All that happens is you feel let down and give up.  So, be reasonable and realistic, and pick targets that are relevant to what you want to do.  If you want to lose weight, then set targets that combine more exercise with healthy eating.  If you want to build muscle, then pick goals that support this.  But be sensible, it is better to be slightly less ambitious to start, then push yourself later.  Success breeds success.
Timebound.  Odd word, but makes sense.  How long will you exercise for?  When will you review things and measure how you’re doing?  What is the aim in 3, 6, 9 months?  You need to have an end in sight.
There is no shame in failure when it comes to getting healthy.  We have all experienced it.  Exercise and healthy eating are tough in today’s society.  But you are letting yourself and your family and friends down if you don’t at least try. 
Sort yourself some smart goals today – and in a few months you will feel very SMART.

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