How to Set Your Exercise Goals

When we want to succeed in life, studies show the best thing to do is to write down our goals.  When it comes to succeeding with eating healthy and exercise, writing down what you eat and what exercise you do, definitely helps.

Setting SMART goals is so important when it comes to anything….and it definitely pertains to exercise. Let’s set a SMART goal for working out.

S: Specific Goals.

  • Set goals that are specific to each day and each week. To just say “I’m going to start exercising” isn’t going to cut it. It should be: “I’m going to workout Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30am each day.”  (Or whenever time and date the workout will fit into your schedule).
  • Also, define which days you are going to do weight training and which days you are going to do cardio. If time is an issue, I always recommend 3 days/week of full body weight training workouts. Weight training will be what increases your metabolism, much more than cardio.
  • If you are someone who hasn’t really exercised on a regular basis or haven’t worked out in a long time, start with 3 days/week. Be realistic with your goals. Thinking you will workout 5 days/week is a very lofty goal and you are setting yourself up to fail. Ask yourself, what happens the first time you don’t get your 5 days in? How upset will you be? Most likely….very upset. Then the cycle starts of….well if I can’t do 5 days/week, I might as well do none.  You don’t want that to happen.

M: Measurable Goals.

  • How many days/week of exercise.
  • How many days will be weight training and how many will be more a cardio day?
  • How much time will you be exercising each session?
  • How many sets of weights will I be doing? Will I be doing full body workouts or do upper/lower body type workouts?

A: Attainable.

  • It is VERY important your goals are attainable. It is great to set higher goals – especially if weight loss is a goal. If you only focus on losing 50 pounds, you may get discouraged. When you break down the goal into smaller increments, it’s not as daunting.  For example, over 10 months time, your goal would be to lose 50 pounds, with each month losing 5 pounds for 1.25 pounds/week. This is much more doable than only focusing on 50 pounds.
  • Same with your workouts! You MUST make the time for these workouts to be reasonable. If you haven’t worked out in years or have been off and on….workout 3 days/week and start there. Over time, you can add more workouts in.

R: Relevant.

  • These goals are for YOU!  Not somebody else. You are the only person to set these goals. They have to be relevant to you otherwise you may not be very motivated to even do them!

T: Timely.

  • Put a time limit on this and keep yourself on task. Set a date that you want your goals to be achieved. If you don’t set a date, the chances of achieving the goal are much less. Remember to break the goals down into smaller achievable goals.

Other goals:

  • I will walk 4-5 days every week for 30 minutes each.
  • I will drink water instead of soda every day this week.
  • I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.

HUGE TIP: When you change your mindset about weight loss and focus on making healthy changes each day, weight loss will come. Baby steps are the answer and key to success with being healthy. Make small changes each day or even each week. Over time, you will be living a healthier lifestyle and not have to think about it.

Having an accountability partner will also significantly increase your chances for success. Message me or email me about different programs I have that will work for you.


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