Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more




Health & Wellness
AARP Auto Buying Program


Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and

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 Games - Play Now!

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


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

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


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% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at JCPenney Optical.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

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


Members can save 25% to 45% on their Angie's List membership.

Caregiving walking

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