Setting SMART Fitness Goals

SMART goals

Setting SMART Fitness Goals

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably made some new year’s resolutions for the year ahead. Unfortunately, like most people, you’ve probably already broken some of them. Why is it so hard to achieve your goals? 

Our podiatrists at footinjuryclinic believe that when it comes to your health and fitness, it is very important to set SMART goals. Yes, you’ve probably set SMART goals in your job; it’s now time to transfer it into your health and fitness

SMART is the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Setting goals with these criteria in mind will give you a better success rate and help you stick to your resolutions.


You need to be clear/precise about what you want to accomplish and how you will achieve it. Avoid being vague. For instance, don’t say “I want to walk faster.” Instead say: I want to be able to walk 10,000 steps – pain-free – every weekday by the end of three months. 


When you quantify your goals, it becomes easier to track your progress and stay motivated. You can also break your long-term goal into smaller milestones. So, don’t say you want to “walk a bit every day” – this is not quantifiable. 

In order to walk 10,000 steps within three months, you should set up weekly targets that increase each week. 5,000 steps by the end of Week 1, 5,500 steps by the end of Week 2; 6,000 steps by the end of Week 3, etc. 


Is your goal something you can reasonably reach? Or is it too far-fetched? Are you biting off more than you can chew? Are you setting yourself such a lofty target that you are sure to fail? 

If your goal was to walk 10,000 steps within one month, would it lead to an injury? If you have any underlying health conditions, have you got the all-clear from your GP? 


Does this goal align with the rest of your life? Do you have the tools and support you need to accomplish your goal? Is it the right time to pursue this goal? 

When are you going to walk these steps – early every morning before work, during your lunch break, or after work? Have you set aside an hour each day to do this activity? Is it added to your calendar with appropriate reminders? 


By when do you want to reach your target? Rather than be open-ended, you need to set a deadline for completing your goal. This is why a time frame is very important to stay on track. 

Is three months enough time to allow you to achieve your walking goal? Give yourself enough time to complete your goal and keep in mind that you might face challenges (sickness, busy work schedule, etc.) that may derail your plans.

Need other SMART fitness goal ideas? How about: 

  • I want to beat my 5K PB by 10 seconds or more in my next race that I will run by mid-year.
  • I want to cycle to work every working day for the next 3 months.
  • I want to learn how to do the breaststroke by April.
  • I want to take up a new fitness activity I’ve never done before (e.g. Zumba, Reformer Pilates, CrossFit, Jiu-jitsu, Line dancing, etc.) and do it every Wednesday evening. 
  • I want to gain more muscle mass in my upper body by doing weight training every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Is a foot or ankle injury keeping you from achieving your fitness goals? Visit our team of sports podiatrists who will help devise a fitness plan tailored just for you.