Why older adults should use S.M.A.R.T. goals to get motivated

Older adult exercise class

Health and fitness experts say efforts to change are more likely to be successful if they are SMART goals. SMART simply stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

So, if you’re planning on a making a change to your diet, fitness routine or health, make sure it passes the SMART test:

S – Set a very specific goal. I will add one fruit serving to my current daily diet, I will walk for 30 minutes five days of the week.

M – Find a way to measure progress: I will log my efforts each day on my calendar, I will use a pedometer to track my progress.

A – Make sure it’s achievable:  Be sure you’re physically capable of safely accomplishing your goal. If not aim for a smaller goal.

R – Make sure your goal is realistic: It may seem counterintuitive but choosing the change you most need to make, for example, quitting smoking or losing weight is not as successful as choosing the change you’re most confident you’ll be able to make. Focus on certainties, for example, eating an additional serving of vegetables every day rather than overhauling your diet all at once.

T – Set time commitments: Pick a date and a time to start, for example, On Monday at breakfast, I’ll add fresh blueberries to my muesli, and regular check-in dates: I’ll check my food log every week and decide if I should make any changes in my routines to succeed. When setting commitments outside deadlines can be really useful. Signing up for a park run or charity run on a certain future date can prod you to get a training programme under way with a personal trainer.

Need some help setting S.M.A.R.T. goals?

Ty Paul and Gav O’Brien, who run the Young At Heart Keep Fit Club classes, also offer Young At Heart Personal Training where you can benefit from one on one coaching, including advice on health and nutrition. For more information on Young At Heart Personal Training please click the button below:

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