Alert
Close

Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy
Bob Dylan Talks!

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Fat to Fit

Set SMART Fitness Goals

Your fitness goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound

Woman jumping over circles

— Adie Bush/cultura/Corbis

Setting goals also has the potential to make us unhappy — if we fail to reach them. Perfectionists in particular fall prey to this trap. Take the woman, for example, who decides to limit herself to 1,500 calories a day to lose weight. On Tuesday, for some reason, she overeats and fails to hit her goal. Since she missed the mark, she decides to overeat the rest of the week and start over on the following Monday.

Still, with all their shortcomings, we need goals. How would we ever reach our destination if we didn’t know where we intended to go? Setting goals is really how we try to define the future; that’s why I express my goals as desired outcomes. Through experience, I’ve discovered that adding this requirement — knowing how to achieve the results — puts a brake on my thinking. Instead, I spend time reflecting on what I truly want to achieve.

The prevailing wisdom about how to articulate goals is summarized by the handy acronym SMART (from MindTools.com):

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Time-bound

Next: Measure your fitness progress. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members get exclusive points offers from Walgreens, Duane Reade and Walgreens.com.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.