Monday, 1 November 2010

SMART Goals (part 1)

Goals are really important when it comes to coaching, and the same is true for member retention at the gym. If you have a decent goal, it’s much easier to monitor progression. And if your members can clearly see what they are achieving, they are much more likely to stick around.

But what is a decent goal? It is said that 80% of gym members join to lose weight. Others want to maintain or improve fitness or strength. These goals lack definition though, so it is important to understand how to describe your goals, and to record and share them.

The most common mnemonic used in goal setting is SMART, which has a variety of associations, but for our purposes, the most common ones are:

S   Specific (also Simple)
M   Measurable
A   Attainable (or Agreed)
R   Relevant (and Realistic, or Responsible)
T   Timely

When recording a goal, you don’t need to use a bullet for each of the five parts, but you should check that all points are covered. We’ll come back onto goal sharing in a subsequent post, but the other key part is writing the goal down. The person setting the goal (the member, not the instructor) should write the goal down, as this helps to visualise and take responsibility for the goal. Of course, if the instructor also records the goal, that’s great for ongoing support.

We’re going to share some goals with you in future posts, based on the standard ‘lose weight’ member, and also other members.

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