If you have fitness goals and are unsure of how to accomplish them, you are not alone. Starting any type of fitness regimen requires planning and dedication. The first step is to write out your goals and create a plan to stick to them. Research has taught us that goals need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Let’s look at what this means.
Specific- make a clear goal. For example, if you want to lose weight give it a number and time limit. State your goal as, “I want to lose 8lbs in 2 months.” Or, if your goal is lifestyle based it could be written down as “I want to work out for 45 minutes a day, 3 days per week” instead of just simply saying “I want to work out more” or “I want to lose weight”.
Measurable- is your goal easy to measure? The two examples above are easy to measure. One can be done with a scale and the other with a calendar. A goal that is a little harder to measure would be “I want to feel healthier”. What does “healthy” really mean to you? Make your goal specific enough so that you can track it.
Attainable- is this goal something you can accomplish? Do you have the time, money, and/or skills to do it? If you are setting a goal that is out of your reach, then it can end up being a huge disappointment when it doesn’t get completed.
Relevant- is this something that you want for yourself? Make sure that the goal you have isn’t being forced upon you or influenced by others. Also, keep your list of goals shorter to start. Begin with what it most important to you and then go from there.
Timely- Give yourself a timeline and include milestones. Including smaller goals will help you stay on track, feel pleased with your progress, and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the larger task at hand. For example, if you have a weight loss goal you could include the milestones of losing 1lb per week. Each week you would get to check it off your list or tally it on a Calendar. You’ll feel proud of what you’ve accomplished so far and stay motivated to keep going.
Physical therapists are educated in the principles of health and fitness. They have studied the physiology of exercise and can guide your exercise program to fit your needs and goals. If you feel like you could extra help getting started, or especially if you have a physical limitation do not hesitate to reach out—we are happy to help!
Brenna Driscoll is the Physical Therapy Aide/Marketing Liaison at Spirit Winds Physical Therapy and is also a personal trainer. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Long Beach State University and has been working in the health and wellness field since 2010. At Spirit Winds we work as a team to give you well-rounded information. If you have questions about what is going on with your body and don’t know if PT is right for you, Spirit Winds offers Free Consults on Tuesday afternoons. Call 805 543-5100 or request a consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org