Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Games Tournament

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

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.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.