I took a Human Behavior course two winters ago and CPT Training this past summer, and learned a lot about motivation and goal setting. If you’ve set goals or resolutions for this year, here is how to take action and how to set and achieve your goals with lasting success.


SMART is an acronym that represents a framework for creating effective goals. It stands for five qualities your goals should have.

They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. The SMART method is one of the most popular and effective tools for creating realistic and achievable goals. You can apply these tricks to saving money, fitness or nutrition, Education goals, or just about anything. Learning how to set SMART goals can improve your chances of success.


The goal has to be concrete and clear. Vague goals like “feel better” or “do better” are not easy to determine progress. Pick a goal that will be measurable. Examples
•Lose “x” amount of weight.
•Run a half marathon.
•Knit a sweater from start to finish.


Imagine playing a hockey game over and over, with no score. Sure, it’s fun but sometimes it’s nice to have measured amounts of feedback- it keeps us motivated!
You want something that will gauge how well you are progressing toward achieving the objective. You don’t want an objective that is vague. So choose how you will measure the achievement. Then you know when it has been achieved, when it’s been met and when it’s been exceeded.
For example, ‘100%’, ‘a $ figure’, by 5 pm today, etc. A number allows people to see if they have achieved the goal.
It’s also a good idea to record the source of the measurement.


You want to make sure that the goal you have set can actually be achieved. Otherwise, you may become discouraged

For example, imagine your goal is to lose some weight. If you can commit even a small amount of time to exercise each week and are willing to make some dietary changes, losing 20 pound in 6 months is probably achievable. Losing 50 pounds might or might not be, especially if there are obstacles that could prevent you from exercising regularly.



Is the objective within something you will have control or influence over? Setting a goal to run the half marathon won’t help you get a 90% score in your statistics class in university.

This is the part where you reflect on “why.” Ask yourself whether this goal will truly fulfill your desires or if there’s a different goal that’s more important to you.


Choose a time frame. This means your goal should have a deadline or there should be a date set for completion. This helps you have a date or time in mind so you can take action appropriately. Saying “some time in the future” means there will be no internal pressure and it usually gets shoved behind something else in your life.

You can set this area up into a timeline with smaller goals and shorter time frames if you have set huge goals.

An example of a SMART goal would be-

I will lose 5% body fat by April 15th, 2017 by going to the gym 5x per week and eating healthy.

Set yourself up for success, and make sure you have all of the tools you need to accomplish your goal.  Again, none of this has to be fitness or health based.  This strategy works for anything, give it a try!

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