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Getting Started

Goal Setting

Many people go to a gym or fitness center and wander around, trying different strength training machines and cardio equipment. This is a good way to familiarize yourself with the facility, but if you are looking for changes in muscle tone, body composition (increasing muscle/ decreasing body fat), or cardiovascular fitness, you will need to have a plan! A plan starts with creating goals.  Effective goals include the following details:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable or attainable
  • Relevant or realistic
  • have a Time component

Each of these components makes up a part of what is called SMART goal setting. Be sure to WRITE DOWN your goals. Writing down goals in detail is strongly associated with goal success. It is like making a contract with yourself, providing a vision of what you want and the specific steps to get there.

Question: Which of these statements below meets all of the components of SMART goal setting?

“I want more muscle tone.”

“This *grabs muffin top* needs to go.”

“I wish I could be a size 10 again.”

Answer: None of these statements meet SMART goal setting components!! However, the third statement is closest, because we have a measurable piece to it. An individual can try on a size 10 and determine if it fits or not. It is missing all other components though. 


A Guide to Physical Fitness Copyright © by Jen Hilker. All Rights Reserved.

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