New Years Resolutions and SMART goals

Longevity Exercise Physiology and Personal Training Drummoyne, Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Balmain and Bella Vista today discuss the importance of using SMART goals to increase your likelihood of success!

With the end of the year fast approaching, we all find ourselves thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. How many of us have thought about how we are going to achieve these? Have you put a plan in place to reduce your risk of failure? If there is one thing worse than not having a new year’s resolution, it is getting to mid-march and already feeling like you want to give up.

At Longevity, we encourage everyone to have a BHAG (“big hairy audacious goal”). It is not something we just encourage our clients to do, we ourselves sit around each year and listen to our team members goals and aspirations. Where many people go wrong is not putting the steppingstones in place to get there. It’s great to have a large overarching goal in mind, but its just as important to set goals that focus on the process, not just the outcome

A SMART goal is used to help guide goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  Setting a SMART goal allows you to focus your efforts and increase your chances of achieving your goal. It is important to set a series of SMART goals that lead you to that path of achieving your BHAG. For example, if your New Year’s resolution is to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines (150minutes of moderate aerobic intensity a week plus two strength training sessions,) but you are currently completely inactive, a realistic first SMART goal may be focused around increasing incidental activity. Let’s take a look into how we would structure this SMART goal.

“Setting a SMART goal allows you to focus your efforts and increase your chances of achieving your goal”


  • Well defined, clear, and unambiguous
  • E.g. To work towards meeting the Australian Physical Activity guidelines by increasing incidental activity (Replacing commute to work with walking instead of public transport, getting off two stops before desired destination.)


  • Specific criteria in which you can record your progress.
  • E.g. Time as a unit to measure how much aerobic activity you are achieving each week


  • Attainable and not impossible to achieve
  • E.g. If we are setting a goal for someone who is currently achieving less than 30minutes of aerobic exercise a week, it is a good idea to start off small and build up gradually. SMART goals that are too ambitious are likely to act as demotivators.
  • It’s also wise to consult an Exercise Physiologist for realistic goals regarding weight loss, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar given a specific time frame.


  • Within reach relevant to your overall goal
  • E.g. We cannot expect someone who typically has not had a great relationship with physical activity to suddenly become a fitness fanatic! Smarting small is key in this example.


  • With a clearly defined timeline, including start date and end date
  • E.g. For the first 3 months of 2021, get off the bus two stops before workplace and walk the rest of the way.

By working through this example, you can see how setting a goal just to meet an ambiguous target is not enough! You are much more likely to succeed if you work through this process with all your goals. It is also important to be constantly re-evaluating and recording your progress. Are your goals still relevant? Are you struggling with motivation? Writing goals down or creating a check list are two great ways to hold yourself accountable and be self-aware.

Good luck and happy goal setting! If you feel you need some more guidance with your goal setting, or you have set your SMART goal and still unsure how to start, book in with one of our Exercise Physiologist today!


Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista on 1300 964 002 to enquire today.

By Georgia Wassall

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