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SMART New Year Goal Setting

The New Year has come again which means many people are thinking about their exercise goals for the year. It’s important to set goals within reach. When goals are achievable the desire to strive for them is higher, leading to the determination needed to accomplish them. To set successful, safe goals for yourself try using the SMART method. SMART method goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented.

Specific: Be specific about your goal. Leaving ideas open ended creates opportunity for making excuses. State clearly what you want to accomplish, don’t be vague.

Measurable: Your goal should be able to be actually observed and measured. When looking at your progress it should be glaringly apparent if you have met your goal or not.

Attainable: You know your abilities and resources, be reasonable and safe when setting goals. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Nobody gets off of the couch and runs a marathon in a weekend.

Realistic: You can’t increase your cardio endurance by 30 minutes at a time. If you want to increase your ArcTrainer time from 5 minutes a visit to 30 minutes a visit start slow and make your goal to add 1-2 minutes of time every time you are in to exercise.

Time-Oriented: Set a time parameter for you to accomplish your goal. When it comes to exercise 6-8 weeks is a nice time frame to start with. This range allows you plenty of time to work toward a goal, and to see some progress made.

Goal Examples: A vague goal would be: “To go to the gym more”

A SMART goal would be:

Specific: Attend more exercise classes.

Measurable: Increase the number of classes I attend Monday-Saturday.

Attainable: Look at the class schedule and find what class times work best for you.

Realistic: Take 3-5 exercise classes per week. Time-oriented: In the next 8 weeks take 3-5 classes per week consistently and reassess how I feel and what changes can be made.

We look forward to seeing all of you in WellBound this new year and are excited to help you on your journey toward accomplishing your SMART goals!

Happy New Year!


Hopson, J. L., Donatelle, R. J., & Littrell, T. R. (2012). Get Fit, Stay Well! (2nd ed.). Benjamin Cummings.

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