Goal Setting

What is a goal and why do we set goals?


Goal setting involved the development of a plan with the aim to reach a certain point. In the context of physical activity it might be something as simple as going for a walk every day or being able to tend to your garden independently; or more complex such as returning to sport or going on a big hike when you currently might have a low baseline of fitness.

Goal setting is a form of motivation to the things we want to do and can be a good measure of making progress in our lives.

Most people have heard of setting “SMART” goals to help them pick a suitable thing to strive for. But not everyone knows how to set a SMART goal. Let us explain what a SMART goal is and how you might want to incorporate SMART goals into your life to help you achieve something you’ve been wanting to do.

You don’t always have to incorporate all 5 aspects into your goal, but thinking about each of these elements will assist you to clearly prioritise what is important to you, why your goal is important to you and put yourself in a position to achieve it.

Being SPECIFIC will assist you to reach your goal because it will help you to outline exactly what you want to achieve

Having a MEASURABLE goal will allow you to track your progress and know exactly when you have achieved your goal.

Striving for something ATTAINABLE is important because this will continue to positively impact your confidence to continue your desired activity.

Setting RELEVANT goals is important because this is the only way you will be able to do what you are wanting to do.

Having a TIMELY goal will also help you so stay on track and motivate you to reach your deadline.


If you reached your goal easily, consider making it a little bit harder next time. If you are finding it too difficult to achieve your goal, consider making it easier or breaking it into smaller steps (bite sized goals).

Some examples of standard goals made smart:

Once you have set a goal, you will need to make a plan to help you achieve them.

Christine Carter discusses how to form a new good habit. It can be as easy as starting by dedicating 1 minute per day!

This TED Talk by Laura Vanderkam discusses how to best use your free time to allow you to do things that are important to you e.g. spend time with your family, exercise, try new things. Laura elaborates discussing how everyone can find time for important things that are a priority, it’s just about managing your priorities.