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How to challenge your thinking to make 'SMART' goals.

The process of starting a new gym routine can be hard, similarly if you have been participating in a specific program for a long time it can be easy to fall into the trap of becoming complacent and unmotivated. Setting yourself challenges whether it be daily, weekly monthly or yearly can be a great way to increase motivated and stay on track and focused on the reason you started in the first place.

Why should you challenge yourself?

Exercise goals are not only a great way to stay fit but also can be used as a way to remain healthy, happy and assist with external tasks not related to exercise (such as work, study and your social life). Having a goal or multiple goals is an important way to track your progress in just a few easy steps(which we will go through in just a second) and can be very rewarding once you reach them whether this be for weight loss, to walk 10,000 steps per day or even decrease pain. But goals do not just have to be exercise specific as I said, they can relate to tasks you need to get done, such as a work or uni assignment and can be structured in much the same way.

How should i structure my goals?

First we start by looking at the acronym ‘SMART’

(S) pecific – This means knowing what you want to achieve and turning it into a specific goal. So rather than saying ‘I want to decrease my weight’, make the goal ‘I want to lose 5kg in the next 10 weeks’. This gives you a target.

(M) easurable –  This means being able to put a number to your goal. So a target of decreasing ‘5kg’ is something that can easily be measured by doing a weigh in each week to track progress for example.

(A) chievable – This means, is your goal attainable in the time frame set? Example, if your goal was to lose 10kg in 1 week then this probably isn’t a very viable, safe goal. However, a 0.5kg loss per week over 10 weeks is much more reasonable.

(R) elevant
 – This means is the goal specific to YOU. Not the person next to you, not what happened on reality TV, to YOU! This will help keep you motivated and on track.

(T) imely
 – Every goal needs a beginning and end point. Without giving yourself a time frame, it’s not only hard to stay motivated, but to track results as well.

Whats next?

You’ve done it! Now sit back, enjoy the satisfaction that achieving your goal brings, but also reflect on what it took to achieve the goal and what you might do differently?

What worked and why do you think it worked? With the experience of having achieved this goal, what is your next goal? Create a plan moving forward.

Seek the advice of an expert, like an Accredited Exercise Physiologist down at Ex Phys Australia to make sure you’re training is as specific as it can be to reach your long term plans for the future.  

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