Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Walking Tips - Set Goals and Keep Track to Stay on Track

Have you ever wanted to get healthy, lose weight, or exercise more but you find the weeks go by and you're still saying the same things over and over?

I used to be like that. I knew I needed to start moving and lose weight in order to be my healthy best. But it was only after I set specific goals and started tracking my progress did I begin to have success. 

One way to set goals is to use the S.M.A.R.T. plan. You may have seen this before. 

I'll show you how my husband and I set our goal of walking 600 miles this year.


To achieve a goal it must be specific and you must have a way to measure your progress. The goal should be something that pushes you but you can be successful and attain it. You must pick something that's relevant to your lifestyle and maybe the most important thing is to give yourself a certain amount of time to achieve the goal.

This is how John and I set our goal of walking 600 miles this year.

S = Specific - Instead of saying we need to get more exercise and spend more time together we were very specific. We decided to start walking together and that we'd walk 600 miles over the course of 1 year.  

M = Measurable- We keep very careful record of our walks. OK John takes care of recording the miles.He uses a pedometer app on his phone to measure our walks and a spreadsheet to keep track. If we miss a day we make it up on the weekend or if we really get behind we make it up on vacations. 

Simple Excel spreadsheet to measure progress.
The columns:
Day, Date, Goal for that day, Actual miles we walked that day , Total miles walked, difference
You can see on Oct 10 we are actually ahead 5 miles. Yippie!

A = Attainable- We knew the goal would have to be something that pushed us but also needed to be reasonable. Working long hours, business travel and family obligations make it difficult for us to walk together every night but we felt we could cover around 12 miles a week so 600 miles in a year is a figure we feel we can reach.

R = Relevant - The exercise we chose had to fit in with our life style. Walking does just that. We can walk just about anywhere and anytime, it doesn't require special equipment and it's FREE! 

T = Time bound - We wanted to develop a life long habit so  we set a goal of walking 600 miles together in 1 year. 

Setting a goal for walking and keeping track is working for us. This is our fifth year of  setting a goal of walking together. It really helps to have an accountability partner-someone who will pull you up off the couch and get you going out the door!

I'm just wondering, are you a goal setter or do you just wing it? 

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