Starting a new health and fitness program? Set yourself up for success! Use the SMART fitness goals examples and printable in this post to guide you as you start your health and fitness journey.
Changing your health and fitness routine is never easy. Many of us have tried before and fallen short of lasting change. If you’re one of the many, the piece you may be missing is setting goals, specifically SMART fitness goals.
Why Set Fitness Goals for Women and Men?
You may be wondering why you need to set goals. After all, shouldn’t just making changes be enough? Believe it or not, setting goals may be the difference between “success” and “failure.”
According to a study by psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, 76% of study participants who wrote down their goals and an action plan and provided weekly progress reports to a friend successfully achieved their goals; this result was 33% higher than those with unwritten goals. Telling a friend can help you hold yourself accountable, but I don’t believe that portion is 100% necessary. You can hold yourself accountable on your fitness goals by documenting them and tracking your progress. 🙂
What are SMART Fitness Goals?
Writing out a fitness goal is better than having no goal in mind, but to really set yourself up for success, you want to make sure you’re setting SMART fitness goals. SMART stands for:
- Specific – Don’t have a vague fitness goal like “getting in shape.”
- Measurable – Set a goal that you can track your progress on.
- Attainable – Your goal has to be realistic.
- Relevant – Does this goal help you reach larger goals or is it applicable to your current situation in life?
- Time-Bound – To help hold yourself accountable, put a time limit or timeframe on the goal.
Whether you’re thinking about setting fitness goals for women or men, a beginner or someone who has been working on their fitness for years, you want to focus on SMART goals.
SMART Fitness Goals Examples
To help you understand SMART fitness goals a little better, let’s look at some short term fitness goals and long term fitness goals, using the SMART breakdown.
SMART Fitness Goals for Women and Men: Example 1
Someone’s doctor has recommend they lose 20-30 pounds in order to reach a healthier weight. A SMART fitness goal based on that may look like:
- Specific – Lose 24 pounds. Do not say 20-30 pounds because that is a range, not a specific number!
- Measurable – How much weight has been lost? While the number on the scale isn’t always the best measurement of health, this is measurable.
- Attainable – Yes, it is possible to lose 20-30 pounds, given enough time. According to the CDC it is safe to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
- Relevant – Yes, a doctor has recommended losing this amount of weight.
- Time-Bound – Lose the 24 pounds in six months.
This SMART fitness goals example may be consider more “long term” since it’s spread out over six months. To help make it more measurable and specific and to keep someone motivated over that length of time, the action plan may be to lose one pound per week.
SMART Fitness Goals for Women and Men: Example 2
Someone’s mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and they want to raise money and awareness for the illness by running a half marathon (13 miles). A SMART fitness goal based on that may look like:
- Specific – Run a half marathon.
- Measurable – Has the person run a half marathon? This is either yes or no and is easily measurable.
- Attainable – Yes, it is possible to run a half marathon given an appropriate amount of training time. The Marathon Handbook recommends up to 16 weeks of training time for non-runners with no experience.
- Relevant – Yes, the person wants to do this to raise awareness and money for an illness that is relevant to their situation.
- Time-Bound – Train over the course of 16 weeks and run a half marathon at the end of the 16 weeks.
For this SMART fitness goal, the action plan would be specific steps to take to train for the half marathon with milestones along the way. For example, most training plans would including running a 5K at some point.
Tip: When it comes to long term fitness goals, be careful! Again, remember, you want to make sure your SMART goals are realistic so give yourself an appropriate amount of time to accomplish long term goals. In addition, it can be hard to maintain motivation for an extended period of time if you don’t break a lofty goal down into short term fitness goals. So consider taking long term goals and chunking them out into short term fitness goals that add up to your long term goal.
SMART Fitness Goals Printable Template
The SMART fitness goals printable template allows you to write out your goal in full as well as break it down into it’s SMART components. Breaking your goal down will allow you to ensure that it is a SMART goal. It may help to start by writing out the components first and then circling back to write the goal out in full at the top.
There’s also a table below the SMART breakdown that allows you to chunk the goal out into actionable steps. As mentioned previously, this can be especially valuable if you’re working on long term fitness goals. Plus, as mentioned much earlier in this post, having an action plan along with a goal increases your chance of success!
Health and Fitness Journal
The SMART fitness goals printable is part of the fitness journal template printables, available in the shop. It also includes:
- Printable Weekly Workout Schedule for Men and Women Template
- Inspirational Fitness Quotes Printables
- Weight Loss Plan
- Fitness Tracker Printable
- Fitness and Nutrition Printable
- Female Printable Body Measurement Chart