S.M.A.R.T. Goals

by Andy Dutra, Clemente Center Personal Trainer

It’s just a little over three months past the New Year, and it’s time to check up on your goals.  Goals are an important aspect of everyone’s life, and are especially relevant in fitness.  Fitness goals can range from running faster, lifting more weight, getting more muscular tone, losing weight, or just getting beach ready.  In order for you 2012 goals to be achieved they must be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-constrained).

Take a moment and ask yourself, how far how you come with 2012 goals?  Are they S.M.A.R.T.?  Are original goals still relevant, or do they need updating?  The truth of the matter is, there is no time better than the present to establish (or re-establish) your goals and maximize your future potential!

Professional Ironman Triathlete and developer of Thrive Fitness Brendan Brazier, provides 5 tips for achieving your fitness goals:

1) Re-Evaluate Your Goals:

Don’t get discouraged with what  you should be physically able to do, and carefully focus on what  you can realistically do right now. When we set unobtainable goals, we are easily discouraged, derailed, and quickly fall off track.  Set small incremental goals and track your performance towards reaching your overall goals.

2) Revisit Your Schedule/Timing:

Maybe the gym is too busy after a long day at work or you’re just too tired to perform at your best early in the morning.  Staying on track will require you to analyze yourself to realize what time of day is best for you.  Maybe you get a boost of energy mid-day right before lunch, and this is a great time to go for a run or do an interval workout.  Other people are night-owls or early morning-birds.  Don’t let the activities and habits of others get in your way of reaching your 2012 goals.

3) Look for New Routes:

There are numerous benefits to changing up your workout routine to ensure that your muscles don’t become too used to your normal routine. Look for different workouts that provide more efficient ways to engage in cardio, endurance and strength training. Remember to switch them up on a regular basis. When you’ve mastered these new workouts, continue to add more weight, distance or time.  This way you’ll avoid boredom and the dreaded plateau.

4) Get a Training Buddy:

Training buddies are useful to keep you accountable, motivated and can be your support system when you’re struggling. They push to reach your personal best and keep you honest when you’re falling behind.  They can provide a friendly competition to get you moving a little faster or lift a little harder.  If you’re lacking motivation to get out of the house, find a complementary training buddy in a roommate, co-worker, friend, personal trainer or dog.

5) Measure Your Success in a Consistent, Trackable Manner:

Measuring your fitness goals is a little like sightseeing on the road to glory.  Take the time to document your progress in a notebook or even better with a mobile phone app.  Tracking your success allows you to look back at your hard work and see that yes, you actually have run the 100 miles you set out to run. It may have been over a 4 to 6 month span, but it is possible and  you did it.  By visually assessing where are today and how far you have come in a short period of time will motivated you to continue to strive towards your ultimate goal!

Whatever activity you choose to engage in, remember that no matter how many times you get side-tracked or derailed, there is always a chance turn it around, re-fuel the body and mind, and repave the road to a new personal best.

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