Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | September 9, 2008

Setting Goals for Exercise: Part 2

  In my last post, I introduced the SMART goal process as an effective way to set goals for your exercise program and described the first two elements: Specific and Measurable.  The other three elements include:

1.  Achievable.  One of the biggest mistakes people make in the goal-setting process is to set unattainable goals.  Your goals should be set high, but they must also be realistic.  A goal to lose 20 lbs. in 4 weeks is unrealistic (and very unhealthy).  Likewise, if you have never been a runner before and set a goal to finish a marathon 3 months from now, you are setting yourself up for failure (and a lot of pain).  Make your goals challenging but attainable.

2.  Relevant.  Your goals should be important to you as an individual.  Don’t set a goal just because your friends, family members or exercise partners have set that goal.  Remember, your goals will be your primary motivation to maintain your exercise program so make sure they are important to YOU.

3.  Time Bound.  Make sure each goal has a specific time frame for completion.  This allows you to easily determine if it has been achieved.  It also greatly increases the likelihood that you will accomplish each goal since you know the clock is ticking!  For example, if you want to lose weight, an effective time-based goal might be “By January 1, I will lose 15 pounds and decrease my body fat percentage to 18%.”  Of course, this assumes you don’t set this goal on Christmas day!  Labor Day would provide a more realistic time frame.

NEXT POST – September 15, 2008:

Process vs. Outcome Goals



  1. can walking help you loose weight??

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