Goal Setting 

"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else."

                                                                                                                                                   -Yogi Berra

Setting goals for a change is an excellent first step towards improving your health and providing dedication and motivation to be physically active. Spending some time creating effective SMART goals will be a huge help later.

MEASURABLE

Are you able to assess your progress?

REALISTIC

 

Are you both willing and able to work towards your goals?

ATTAINABLE

Is your goal within your reach given your current situation?

TIMELY

What is the deadline for completing your goal?

SPECIFIC

What exactly do you want to accomplish?

Where?

When?

Why?

How much?

5 Ways to improve your goal setting:

1. Set both long-term and short-term goals

Set a long-term goal you want to achieve by the end of the 12-week exercise program and then set short-term goals to achieve every week or so.

2. Challenge yourself

Make your goals ambitious enough that you are proud of the accomplishment when you meet your goals.

3. Focus on the progress

Look forward to the participation and not simply getting it over with. Goals should embrace the process that works towards the outcome.

4.Re-evaluate your goals regularly

Goals need to be adjusted when they've been attained- or when you are not achieving them. In order to stay motivated, you need to reach and set higher goals.

5. Outcome vs. process goals

Outcome goals are the results that you want to achieve. These may seem unattainable when you first start to change your behaviour. Process goals are small steps used to achieve a larger outcome goal.

Tips to stay on track

Do start with small steps - Starting to exercise is the most difficult part!

Do focus on enjoying the experience - The people, the atmosphere, and the feelings.

Do reward yourself for a job well done - It may be as simple as enjoying a dessert.

Do surround yourself with people that are supportive of your exercise program.

Do visualize success by creating an image of success in your mind.

Do monitor your progress. When you start making changes, you may progress rapidly.

Don't "should" yourself! Say, "It would be better for me if I went for a walk today because I could use some fresh air."

Don't push yourself too hard.

Remember to evaluate your goals on a regular basis. Did you meet your goals? If you did, reward yourself and create a new and more challenging goal. If you didn't meet your goals, don't worry, it happens to the best of us, but ask yourself why? What happened? What can you do next time to ensure that you meet your goals?

Celebrate your successes and enjoy the process!

© 2017 by the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary