Looking to achieve a specific target or just trying to improve overall fitness? Something you may find useful is to implement one or two SMART Goals.

Keep in mind the saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there”.


The SMART theory of goal setting was based on years of academic research and originally became popular in the 1980s. There are a number of variations to the theory, but the basic features of goals that work are:

  • Specific: Goals that are too vague and general are hard to achieve, for example “to get fit”. Goals that work include specifics such as ‘who, where, when, why and what’.
  • Measurable. Ideally goals should include a quantity of ‘how much’ or ‘how many’ for example drinking 2 litres of water per day. This makes it easy to know when you have reached the goal.
  • Achievable. Goals should be challenging, but achievable. Goals work best when they are neither too easy or too difficult. In many cases setting harder goals can lead to better outcomes, but only as long as the person has the ability to achieve it. Setting goals which are too difficult can be discouraging and lead to giving up altogether.
  • Relevant. The goal should seem important and beneficial to the person who is assigned the goal.
  • Time-related. ‘You don’t need more time, you just need a deadline’. Deadlines can motivate efforts and prioritise the task above other distractions.

An example of a SMART Goal may relate to improving overall fitness. A good test of your fitness is the Zoom Fitness In-house Triathlon which incorporate rowing, riding and running. You could of course incorporate your own fitness test – a speed and distance measure on the bike, rower or treadmill would also be a good test. Many sporting teams use the Beep Test as a standard measure.


Your SMART Goal may look something like this:

  • Specific: To reduce my in-house triathlon time by 10%
  • Measurable: Complete the 3 legs in 36 minutes (original “base measure” may have been 40 minutes)
  • Achievable: Ask yourself if the improvement is a reasonable expectation given what you know about your lifestyle and conflicting commitments – if the answer is “no” perhaps change the objective.
  • Relevant: Achieving this goal will improve your overall health and fitness.
  • Time related: Set a time period to achieve the goal – say 4 weeks.

RowingOnce the SMART Goal is determined the next step is to plan on achieving the desired result. This will entail a disciplined approach with scheduled sessions and regular “check-in” to monitor progress.

With the example above you may decide to complete the in-house triathlon each week to confirm you are on track for the ultimate goal. By having a SMART Goal in place you have a very defined finish line in place and you are no longer on “any road”.


Once the goal is achieved it is time to reset and introduce another SMART Goal. Each goal is a stepping stone on your overall health and lifestyle journey.


For more information on setting SMART Goals or help with determining a specific target why not talk to one of our friendly Zoom Fitness Personal Trainers?