Fall is a great time to aim for a new fitness goal. Whether it’s a half marathon PR, a new one rep max deadlift, shedding those last few unwanted pounds or making it through an entire yoga class without losing your balance once, fall is the perfect time to work for it. Schedules are settling down after busy, fun and hot summers, the weather is a little bit more workout friendly and you can find an event any weekend you choose.
Once you’ve picked out your new fitness goal working towards it can seem daunting. Here are 5 tips, the S.M.A.R.T method, to guide you to success on your fall fitness goal journey.
Have a specific goal. A desire to ‘get faster’ or ‘lose weight’ is vague. How much faster? How much weight? It’s important to develop a road map for dropping those unwanted pounds or reaching your new PR. Work towards your fall fitness goal by working on a specific thing such as losing 5 pounds, running a distance of 5 miles or a certain time in which you’ll finish your next 5, 8 or 10k. Picking a numeric weight, distance or time goal will help you focus.
Make sure your goal is measureable. Setting a specific goal, keeping a journal, potentially getting a coach and using a scale or stop watch to measure progress will help keep your morale up as you reach each mini fitness goal you set.
Achievable goals are a must. A new weightlifter might have a deadlift goal of 450 pounds, which is both specific and measureable, but is also unattainable in the short term. Setting challenging but not impossible goals like increasing weight lifting maximums by five pounds at a time or losing two pounds per week make progress easy and keeps motivation high.
Be results based. Hitting each step on your way to a bigger fitness goal is important. If you aren’t reaching small short term goals, it might be time to rethink your training method or the bigger goal you set. Being aware of your results helps direct future training and will make working towards any fitness goal easier.
Time oriented. Have a desired amount of time or end date for reaching your fitness goal. Pick your next 5k as the deadline for increasing per mile race pace. Decide to lose two pounds per week for the six weeks leading up to your family vacation, then write each weigh in on a calendar.
Most importantly make sure you find an activity you enjoy. Going out for training sessions will be more fun, especially if you have a training buddy. Be sure to allow for life’s ups and downs as you use these five tips to steadily and safely work towards your fall fitness goal.