How to set SMART fitness goals

New year, new you, right?

You got that gym membership, bought all the kale and promised yourself you’ll never ever have a potato chip again. 

Sound familiar?

We’ve all been there. Creating extreme and limiting resolutions only to find ourselves three quarters of the way through a pint of Ben & Jerry’s by the first Saturday of the new year.

Enter the negative self talk. Why don’t I have any willpower? 

Enter the false promises. Diet starts Monday.

It’s a vicious cycle that I can safely say I have gone round and round on so many times.

So how do we avoid this inevitable pattern. How do we set ourselves up for a successful year of health and fitness.

It starts with goals. Not resolutions. And not just goals but SMART goals. 

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time sensitive

(This is one of various definitions from the acronym coined long before I was born and the definition I personally like to use when goal setting).

When you set SMART goals, you allow yourself to nich down ultimately making the goal less overwhelming and more achievable.

For example, if your goal is to “be healthier,” try narrowing it down to a specific and SMART goal such as drink more water.

  • Specific – 8 glasses of water per day
  • Measurable – write them down, use an app 
  • Attainable – taking action is simple, drink the water
  • Realistic – 8 glasses is a doable number
  • Time sensitive – by end of day, every day

When you break down your goal, taking action is simple, clear and easier to follow through with. It’s important to make sure the goal is reasonable so you feel fulfilled and proud each day.

Setting SMART goals can be applied to any area of your life. I encourage you today to take a few minutes, ask yourself what your resolution is and figure out how you can turn that into one, actionable SMART goal. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get accomplished and can kiss those old resolutions goodbye! 


Photo by Elaine Fancy




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