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SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals that are established using a specific set of criteria that ensures your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame.

Setting a SMART goal entails working through each of those five components to build a measurable goal that encompasses exactly what needs to be accomplished and when, and how you’ll know when you’re successful. This approach eliminates generalities and guesswork, sets a clear timeline, and makes it that much easier to track progress and identify missed milestones.

A specific goal answers questions like:

  • What objective needs to be accomplished?
  • Who is responsible for it?
  • What steps will you take to achieve it?

SMART Goal Examples

Good goals usually take the form of a statement.

  • I will lose 5 kgs, from 85kg to 80kg in the next 6 weeks by going for a daily 30 minute run and reducing my daily calorie intake by 400kcal a day
  • I will decrease my waist measurement by 4cms, from 94cm to 90cm in the next 6 weeks using a mixture of cardio and core strength exercises
  • I will come to the gym three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for the next 6 weeks in order to establish the practice as a habit
  • I will increase my 10RM from 25kgs to 30kgs in the next 6 weeks by keeping a record of daily reps and ensuring sufficient muscle recovery time between lifting
  • I will decrease the number of Red Bulls I drink from 3 to 1 per day, for the next 5 days and replace them with glasses of water
  • I will decrease the number of takeaway meals I have each week from 4 to 1 for the next 5 days and keep accountability through the use of a food diary.

For best results, set short-term (6 weeks) and long-term (6 months +) goals to allow for more motivation and regular check-in points to ensure they are on track using the SMART GOAL format.

Tip: The type of goal may vary between health, fitness, and behaviour.

Different types of goals include:

  • Self – referenced – based on self-improvement
  • Competitive – based on comparison to others
  • Mastery – develop new skills.

Source: Your Coach, 2019.

© CQUniversity 2021
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