1. Health
Paige Waehner

Are your exercise goals 'SMARMT'?

By October 1, 2010

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Having goals may be one of the most important motivational tools for consistent exercise and, if you're into goal-setting or you've ever slept...er...sat through a 'motivational' meeting at work, you may have heard of SMART goals. SMART goals are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

As motivational acronyms go, SMART is a good one, but it leaves out one important element: Meaningful. I know, adding an 'M' to SMART turns it into a made-up word, which defeats the purpose of the acronym in the first place, but I'm convinced we sometimes set goals that we think are meaningful but, in practice, aren't.

For example, maybe you have a goal to look better in a bathing suit. There's nothing wrong with that goal, yet it may be hard to fulfill. The reason? How much time do you really spend in a bathing suit? If you're a bathing suit model, probably quite a bit. But, for the average person, looking good in a bathing suit may not rate high in your daily life. As a result, you may not have the motivation do the amount of exercise you need to reach that goal, leaving you feeling as though you've failed. A different approach would be to figure out what you really want for your body and your health and how exercise can help you get it.

What do you think? Have you ever set goals that didn't mean as much to you as you thought? Do your current goals match what you really want for yourself? How do you pronounce 'SMARMT'? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Comments
October 2, 2010 at 11:14 am
(1) John says:

I’ve got to admit the Nike+ running site has given my goals meaning. I’ve set goals and the site tracks whether I’m hitting them and somehow it’s more meaningful when I do.

I’m sure there are other sites like that out there that create a public forum for exercise goals (not pushing Nike, it’s just the only one I know of). But seriously, I’m more willing to stick with a goal when it’s part of a group environment like that, even if only online

October 3, 2010 at 3:12 am
(2) alex says:

When it comes to weight loss, the buzzwords you might here are: lifestyle and change…as in, you need to make one to be successful at losing weight. It may seem like losing weight is a simple goal–do some exercise, go on a diet and voila! But, if it were that simple, I’d be out of a job and you’d be too busy working out to read this.

you might here??

October 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm
(3) Dan says:

My exercise goal is simple but I think it meets the 5 SMART qualities: To avoid physical disability as I work my way into my 6th decade.

Last April it was reported by health researchers that 40% of baby boomers (people 50-64 years of age) had significant difficulty performing such everyday tasks as “stooping, bending or kneeling, climbing 10 stairs, standing or sitting for two hours, walking a quarter mile, lifting and carrying objects weighing 10 pounds, grasping small items, pushing or pulling a large object, and reaching overhead.”

So my goal is to avoid those problems for the rest of my life, through exercise and diet.

Or at least to maximize my odds of avoiding them.

October 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm
(4) Curt says:

…How do you pronounce ‘SMARMT’? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Well, I’m certainly not the smarmtest person in the world, but…. a certain diddy comes to mind! I am so smarmt, I am so smarmt, smart, I mean smarmt.

Sorry, just could not resist!

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