How to set SMART fitness goals

Most of us at some point in our lives probably went through the process of setting up a goal that is fitness related. Creating fitness goals using the SMART method is a great way to give yourself direction and set yourself up for success. Not all fitness goals are created equally, and some goals set you up for frustration and failure from the moment you first step foot in the gym.

SMART goals are designed with behavioural psychology in mind and intentionally built to be useful and effective at moving you methodically toward whatever your long-term fitness aspiration might be.

What does SMART stand for?

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable
  4. Relevant
  5. Timely

Be specific – clearly define your goal

You need to get specific. For example, the goal “I want to lose weight” is not specific enough. How much weight do you want to lose? How will you be able to judge this?
An example of a specific goal could be: “I want to be able to run 2 km by the end of 8 weeks”. Striving for this goal means you are working towards getting fitter and stronger. It also provides a focus for your training, which makes it easier to work towards.

Make your goals measurable

Goals must also be measurable to allow you to gauge whether you’re meeting them. For example, “losing 4 kg in 12 weeks” is a measurable goal that you can track.

Your goals need to be achievable

While your goals should challenge you, it is important that they are also realistic. An attainable goal will always be relative to your current fitness level.
For example, setting a goal of doing 20 pull ups in the space of 1 month is probably not achievable if you are a beginner. Instead, consider adjusting your goals based on where you are now.
You must ensure your goals are not so hard as to guarantee failure, yet not so easy that you do not get any real satisfaction or benefit upon reaching them.

Your goals must be relevant to you

Your goal should be relevant to both your health needs and overall interests.

For example, if you’re dealing with diabetes focusing on a specific weekly fatless exercise goal is more relevant than trying to do a 120kg deadlift.


Although there’s no hard-and-fast rule on how long your time frame should be, I would suggest most SMART goals should aim to take 1–3 months to achieve. Anything longer and motivation wanes.

Using the weight loss example, a goal to lose “4kg in 3 months” gives you a motivating window within which attaining your goal is reasonable. Yet, it keeps you accountable for both starting and finishing your goal in the time frame you set for yourself.

Tips for tracking your progress

Tracking is key when it comes to implementing SMART goals. Any SMART goal will, by definition, be trackable. Use a fitness app to track those goals. You will find a number of tracking options available on the KhadijaK fitness app. Throughout your fitness journey, you’ll set a new SMART goal, reach it, reassess it, and then set your next goal.

Good luck on smashing all your goals!

If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover send me a shout below or email me.

Planks and kisses


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