Most exercisers are aware of the importance and effectiveness of setting goals in order to achieve results from the time, energy and work put into working out. The SMART goal acronym is particularly useful with exercise/fitness goals as keeping things specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed creates a way to break down large goals into increments that are more easily approached. Once each small increment is achieved a new one is set, creating a progression toward the larger, longer term goal.
One excellent way to create a focus for goal setting is to select an event such as a running race, cycling event, triathlon etc. with the long term goal being the completion of the race or event. Or, depending on your own level of competitive drive and fitness level, perhaps the goal is more advanced and based on achieving a specific result such as a faster time. No matter whether a beginner or advanced/elite athlete, the same goal setting process can be a very effective way to chip away at progress and large goal achievement is made even more enjoyable by smaller goal success along the way. Celebrate the small building block goals as they assemble to form your strategy for the larger end game.
As we are moving out of winter and looking toward the warmer months, now is the time to review what events will be available and make some selections. Our summertime calendars are packed with opportunities from small fun runs of 5K or less up to full-length marathons, triathlons and a variety of other active recreational and competitive pursuits. No matter your chosen event(s), another great way of enhancing your results and ensuring you are on the right track with your goal-setting strategies for both the short- and long-terms is to seek guidance from a fitness professional. Personal Trainers and other credentialed fitness professionals can offer tremendous support with information, dispelling myths, and offering the kind of help that can prove invaluable to novices and experts alike. Another great source of motivation is tackling event-based goals with a partner or even as a family. The benefit and camaraderie of making exercise a social pursuit is often a way to make the work of the physical more fun and therefore easier. And you can enjoy the competitive aspect of this process by passing your partner at the finish. Choose one or more events, create a SMART goal strategy and get moving!