When it comes to fitness, we need smart fitness goals so we can work smarter, not harder. We want the most benefit from the effort we put in on our fitness journey.

woman sitting on steps writing her fitness goals

How many of you go to Walmart without a shopping list? I am so grateful that my wife will either text me or write me a list in order that the aisles are in the store. If I went in there without a list, I would get lost and be in there forever. I would be off in the sporting goods for hours and forget what I came for.

Fitness goals are kind of the same way. There are so many fitness activities and ways to get healthy that you can get lost and lose sight of what you were trying to accomplish. A clear direction is what you need.

The first thing to do is decide what you want to accomplish. Do you want to lose weight, run a 5K, become a bodybuilder, play a sport, be able to get off the couch easier, have more stamina for work? Identify your goal or goals.

After you identify what you want to accomplish, plan out the steps it takes to get there. Make it specific. Do you want to lose 50 pounds? Do you want to lose inches in your waist? Do you want to increase your bicep size by 1 inch? It’s not going to happen if you don’t take the right steps to get there. It’s not going to happen if you are on the couch eating chips every day.

Keep a journal and log what you have accomplished so you can see progress over time and stay motivated.

woman holding a water bottle and a card that says fitness goals

Smart fitness goal examples

Nutrition goals could be increasing water intake. You may drink a gallon of soda a day or coffee. Do you drink any water? How much? Try taking your weight and dividing it in half and try to drink that many ounces of water a day.

Eating the rainbow is a smart fitness goal. If you eat every color of fruit and vegetable in a day, you are getting a wide array of vital nutrients for your body’s health. If you hate vegetables like I used to, check this out.

Plan ahead for your day’s eating. Prep meals and take them with you. Limit the sugar you consume and it will make a big difference in how you feel and your weight.

Exercise goals could be running a 5K, committing to exercising 30 minutes a day, get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

You could do a fitness goal of working out every day for 30 days. You could commit to doing 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training 3 days a week. Whatever will get you to the outcome you want to accomplish. Make it measurable and attainable. But challenge yourself.

Find an exercise you find enjoyable and stay consistent. Keep track of your progress by weighing and measuring your body as well as taking pictures from a few angles. This will be great motivation. Test yourself and see how much stamina you have and how many reps at what level you can do and record it in the journal to see your progress as it happens.

Make sure you get plenty of rest.

I enjoy weightlifting. It gives me a high I can’t explain. Find something that turns you on like that. Take a friend or make one at the gym. It can help your workouts be more enjoyable. Hire a personal trainer to help you get started and give you a program you can use from now on.

men working out with weights to achieve their smart fitness goals.

Examples of short term goals

Some short term fitness goals you might set for yourself starting out could be:

  • Being able to do 3 sets of 12 reps of the exercises you choose
  • Doing 3 pull ups (Pull ups are hard!)
  • Run a 5K
  • Lose 15 pounds in a month
  • Burn 1,500 calories a day walking (you can burn at least 150 calories per hour walking, but the more you weigh, the more you burn)
  • Do yoga 2 x a week every week
  • Reduce your body fat by 10%
  • Lose enough weight to fit back into your favorite jeans
  • Wake up every day feeling rested (diet and exercise have a ton to do with this)
  • Try a new exercise
  • Reduce your intake of sugar

Examples of long term goals

Long term fitness goals might be:

  • Lower your BMI
  • Reduce your cholesterol
  • Run a marathon or half marathon
  • Avoid disease as you age
  • Reduce your dependence on medication
  • Lose 100 pounds
  • Run with your grandkids
  • Be able to do 10 chin ups and 30 push ups
  • Improve your bloodwork at your annual check up

Make sure those goals are measurable and you make a plan for how you’re going to achieve them. Then stick to it. I believe in you!