If basic training is in your near future, you are probably concerned about improving your physical fitness level. You may have even set some physical fitness goals for yourself while you prepare. However, finding motivation can sometimes be the hardest part of getting yourself into your best physical shape. If you find yourself wanting to improve your Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) score, but never seem to move forward in your Army fitness goals you may want to consider setting S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself. Read on to learn more!
Wait, an acronym is going to help me achieve my physical fitness goals?
Stick with us! Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution, and realized within a few weeks of the year that you hadn’t made any progress towards achieving it? It is probably because you made a general goal.
Experts have found that the key to creating achievable goals and resolutions is to avoid general goals like getting fit, eating better and reading more. Instead they recommend setting specific goals, which you have a much higher likelihood of actually achieving.
Now this is where S.M.A.R.T. goals come into play. Standing for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound﹣ this framework includes all of the qualities that a successful and achievable goal should have.
So what might S.M.A.R.T goals for achieving Army fitness goals and improving APFT scores look like? Let’s break it down below:
Specific: In order to set specific goals for basic training fitness, review the APFT standards. You can find details here. As you can see, your goals should center around pushups, situps and running.
Measurable: When you review the 2016 APFT standards you will find measurable goals like run times and pushup totals to give you something to strive for.
Attainable: Are you overweight, out of shape or just getting into fitness? If so, be sure to start with achievable goals that you can actually accomplish! If you set a goal of running two miles in 15 minutes, you will most likely not be able to do so in the near future. Instead, set small goals to work up to, and re-evaluate them to make them more difficult as your level of fitness improves.
Relevant: This is where you make sure you goal is relevant. Obviously in this case you are trying to set physical fitness goals and improve you APFT scores, so your goals should align with these efforts.
Time-Bound: If you have a basic training start date this should be the easy part! Once you know your start date, you will have a tangible deadline in sight, which will help you focus and keep on track. With time ticking away you are less likely to get distracted, and more likely to reach your desired level of fitness before training starts!
As you can see, setting clear, specific and measurable Army fitness goals isn’t so hard after all. If you follow this process and focus, you will be ready for basic training in no time. You can always check out more resources on the UAB website as well.