5 Steps to Setting “Smart” Goals

Jan 8, 2018, 12:42 PM by Molly Lord

We’ve all experienced the disappointment that comes with not achieving a goal. More often than not though, the reason we are unable to achieve our goals isn’t because we aren’t capable.

It is because we don’t set good goals.

We set unrealistic or vague goals that are impossible to obtain by their very nature. To combat this problem and increase your chances of meeting your fitness goals this year, it’s time to start setting smart goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. When you consider these five factors in planning your goals, you are more likely to be successful in achieving your goals.

Here are questions you can ask yourself when setting fitness goals to make sure they are smart and SMART — helping you build strength, find balance and make positive change far into the future.


When setting a goal, it’s important that the goal isn’t too broad or too vague. The more that the goal encompasses, the more difficult it will be to reach. Ask yourself a few questions when creating your goals. What exactly do I want to accomplish? Who will be involved in helping me reach this goal? Why do I want to achieve this goal?



Every goal has an end result. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? How much? How many? When your goals are measurable, you are able to track your progress and stay focused.


Goals are meant to help achieve personal growth and should challenge you. However, these challenges need to be sensible. Is achieving this goal realistic with effort and commitment? Do you have the resources to obtain this goal?


A huge component to goal achievement is motivation. When the goal is relevant and important to your life, that will help give you the drive and perseverance to reach your goal. Ask yourself, why is this goal significant to me?


When setting a goal, it is helpful to have a time frame or schedule. When will this goal be achieved? If your overall goal is to achieve your end result in 6 months, try having a monthly check-in where you can evaluate your progress to that point.  

Making sure you have smart goals is a huge first step toward accomplishing what you’re setting out to do. If you need help setting smart fitness goals, take advantage of our Smart Start program and set up a consultation with one of our amazing fitness trainers to talk about your fitness plan.

Molly Lord is the Communications Intern for the YMCA of Boulder Valley.