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Set Your S.M.A.R.T Exercise Goals for 2014

REPs Media Release 14 January - Set Your S.M.A.R.T Exercise Goals for 2014

A combination of time off from work, and an overindulgence of festive treats, and inspiring new year’s resolutions means that January is a common time for many of us to make an extra effort to improve our health and fitness.

Over the New Year period many people make resolutions, to make themselves better, have a happier life and not surprisingly, lose weight and exercise more. It is an undeniable fact that by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight, we are less prone to life style diseases, depression and just simply feel better about themselves.

So despite the knowledge that health and fitness New Year’s resolutions are going to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on our daily lives, 88% of those who make New Year resolutions will fail (according to a 2007 study of over 3,000 people conducted by the British psychologist Richard Wiseman at the University of Bristol).

In order to not be part of the 88% with your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions, take our advice and get SMART with your goals and resolutions. By having a clear idea of what you want to achieve, a plan of how you are going to get there, and support on the journey, 2014 can be the year you turn your resolutions into action and success.

Make your goals Specific
Make your health and fitness resolution a specific goal rather than a more general one. Think about what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, who can help you, and what will hold you back. Having a goal of ‘eating better and feeling healthier’ is a great start, but by defining exactly what it is you want to achieve you will give yourself a better chance of succeeding. A registered personal trainer will work through goal setting with you before setting you up with an exercise programme, and can help you answer these questions.

Make your goals Measurable
Once your goal is more specific you have a better chance of being able to measure how you are improving, and you will know when you achieve your goal. Knowing where you are right now can be frightening for many. Not wanting to get on the scales, or know just how far you can move without getting puffed, but a getting baseline measure will mean you will be able to track your improvements. A registered trainer will have the knowledge of what tests will work for you, including your history and your goals.

Make your goals Attainable
We all love a challenge, but you need to make sure your goal is realistic and achievable. If you are setting yourself a challenging goal, you will need a longer timeframe to achieve it and some shorter term, smaller goals along the way to keep you motivated. Those fitness tests you did to make sure your goal is measured will also provide information on how achievable your goal is.  

Make your goals Relevant
Gone are the days of one-size fits all exercise. Your fitness goal should be matched to your lifestyle, your health needs and take into account any medical issues or injuries you have. You don’t need to train to have the fitness and strength of an All Black if you just want to lose 5 kilos. A relevant goal will also take into account your financial, time constraints and your commitments.

Make your goals Timely
This is crunch time, now you know what your goal is, how you are going to measure it and you know you can get there and more importantly you want to get there setting a timeframe will pull it all together. Getting healthy and exercising regularly often comes second to our other commitments, and if you don’t have a timeframe in which to achieve your goal, it’s too easy to put off starting until tomorrow.

We are in the middle of a kiwi summer, fresh after a break over the festive season so now is a prefect time to get SMART and make an improvement to your health through exercise.

For more information on how you can benefit from using a REPs Registered Exercise Professional and facility to help set SMART health and fitness goals that will last longer than just the New Year, go to www.reps.org.nz.

Richard Wiseman study reference: http://www.quirkology.com/UK/Experiment_resolution.shtml


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