actively informed

News and insights from your clinicians at Precision Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

Percision Blog Header Fitness Planning

Get SMART When Setting Goals

Precision Orthopedics By Precision
February 2, 2021 | Sports-Related Injuries

Several studies show that up to 80% of new year’s resolutions tend to buckle and crumble by the early days of February. Which shows that if you fall into that 80% category, you shouldn’t feel bad or beat yourself up about it; in fact, it’s evidently normal for the majority of people. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your resolutions entirely.

After all, 2022 is still 11 months away and just think of all the progress that can be made within that time.

As you may have already experienced, the most difficult step you can ever take towards those new goals will be the very first. Most people will never even consider taking it in the first place. Though, when taking your first step it’s always nice to have some sort of direction planned for your journey ahead. 

For an example, if you were looking for some antique bookstores in a large city, you could either:

A. Wing it, get into your car, and drive around in the hopes that you’ll stumble across an antique bookstore or two on your unplanned trip. 


B. Look up and learn the addresses of all the antique bookstores in your city, and then drive to each one following a well-thought-out, planned route.

Which of the two options will get you there the fastest?

Well, unless you’re very lucky, it’ll be option B. (and you’ll probably save on gas too). 

Introducing: SMART goals!

By following SMART goals you will, more comfortably, be able to develop an effective ‘step-by-step’ journey which will not only lead you to your goals, but possibly beyond.

Let’s begin by first understanding this cheeky little devil of an acronym:


This stands for ‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely’.

Now, in the wise words of MC Hammer, ‘Break it down’:

Specific – Define your goals clearly! Not so that they can only be understood by you, but by others too. Specific goals answer the following questions:

– What needs to be accomplished?

– How will it be accomplished?

A bad example would be: ‘I want to eat less sugar, so I’ll try to order less dessert.’

A good example would be: ‘I will make a conscious effort to buy food and beverages that contain zero added sugar and will not take sugar in my coffee from Monday to Friday’. 

Measurable – Quantify your goals! Can your goals be measured? If they cannot be measured, they certainly cannot be managed! There is a huge difference between ‘I want to look the way I did ten years ago’ and ‘I want to lose 10lbs in the next 8 weeks’. The former goal is immeasurable, and by following an immeasurable goal you may never reach your destination.

Attainable – Challenge yourself, but don’t overdo it! If the goals are too difficult to complete you may push yourself to exhaustion and give up on it all entirely. Conversely, if the goal is too simple to accomplish, you may not ever see the progress and development that you desire. If your objective is to read more, you’d be setting the bar a little high by saying you’d like to cover a new book every week. However, by committing to reading 10 to 20 pages every single day, you’ll easily manage 1 – 2 books a month. 

Realistic – Your goals have to be realistic and believable for you. Have you ever accomplished anything similar in the past? Are you willing and able to work hard enough towards actually getting these goals ticked off? For someone who has never been a runner to say they want to complete a marathon by the summer, can be considered as someone setting a difficult (possible but difficult!) goal indeed. It would be wiser to begin with a 5k fun run, then a 10k entry, and then possibly a half marathon by the end of the year. Your goals should be set, believed in, and then accomplished.

Timely – Set a date to look forward to! You should always have a date in mind for which you intend to complete your goals. Make the date of completion realistic, but not too distant in the future. Then, plan the milestones that add up before the big target goal date in the future.
It is so important to clarify your goals, scrutinize them, and then blast them out of the water. So, what are you waiting for? Pull out a pen and a piece of paper (because you’re old school and that’s how you roll), crack on some MC Hammer, and get SMART setting those new goals.