It’s the same thing every year. On January 2, you hit the gym with every intention of making this “your year”. You know that this time you have to stick to it. You tell yourself, “I have to go to the gym at least five days a week, and by spring break I”ll be looking good!” Or maybe you just want to feel better and have more energy. You’ve heard that working with a personal trainer can help, but you never get around to making that appointment. Regardless of your end goal, when you keep trying to do something over and over with no success, it’s time for a new approach.

If you aren’t familiar with them, SMART goals can help you identify the path to achieving your specific goal. There’s more to it than just writing down what you hope to achieve. There are five parts to setting up a smart goal and you can remember each piece with the acronym S.M.A.R.T. It stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Keep reading to learn how incorporating each aspect of this method can finally get you to your long-awaited fitness goal.

Specific

When documenting what the goal is that you want to achieve, it’s important to be specific. Something like, “I want to get in shape” is too vague. It would be better to say that you want to lose weight or reduce your cholesterol. Being specific will give you a target and a way to measure your success toward getting there.

Measurable

If you haven’t set a specific target, it will be hard to measure it. For instance, if you had used the example of “I want to get in shape,”, what exactly does that mean? How do you know when you’ve accomplished getting in shape? Once you choose a specific goal, it’s time to determine how you will measure it. If you want to lose weight, how much? If you want to reduce your cholesterol, by how many points do you want to reduce it?

Attainable

Make sure that your goal is attainable. Losing 30 pounds by your high school reunion next weekend is not really attainable. It’s ok to push yourself, but setting the bar too high will only result in failure and disappointment. Set a realistic goal and go for it.

Relevant

Setting a goal that is relevant is also key to success. What does this mean? A goal is only relevant if it makes sense for you to do it at this particular time. Maybe you’d like to lose 30 pounds by Christmas, but it might not be the right time. For instance, if you know that between the Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks later, and several early-December Christmas parties you won’t be able to stick to a diet or get to the gym as much as you’d like, then this goal may not be relevant for you.

Time-Bound

Part of your goal-setting is to establish a time in which you will accomplish that goal. If all you do is say that you’re going to lose 20 pounds, you’ll never know when you’ve accomplished it. You could just be on a 20-year journey to lose 20 pounds! Identifying a time in which you will reach your goal will help motivate you to do what you need to do every day to get there.

Once you have determined your SMART goals, it’s time to figure out how you will accomplish them. If one of your goals is to lose weight or get fit, Intelligent Fitness of North Canton is here to help. Set up an appointment with one of our personal trainers. They can help you understand what it will take to reach your goal, work with you to set up a plan for getting there, and hold you accountable. If you also like the social aspect of working out in a gym, try some of our group fitness classes. No matter what your fitness goal is, Intelligent Fitness can help you get there.

Are you ready to make this your year? All it takes is three easy steps.

Set your goal. Check out Intelligent Fitness. Go for it.