May 25,

Getting Started

Getting Started

Note: If you are not used to being very active, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. You may want to complete a PAR-Q & You Questionnaire before meeting with your doctor

One of the best ways to get and stay physically active is to set goals

SMART goals

SMART goals are: Specific, Measureable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-framed. Note that some of these terms are interchanged by others such as Attainable, Adjustable, Relevant, Rewarding and Timely in certain settings.

SMART Goals are a way of planning changes that make tasks “do-able”.


Specific: What are you going to do? Why is it important? How are you going to do it?

Specific goals help you to focus on and define what you want to do.

Example: I will walk around my neighbourhood.


Measurable: How much, How often? How many? How will I know I have accomplished my goal?

Measurable goals help you establish how you will track your progress and allow you to see that change has occurred.

Example: I will walk for 20 minutes 3 days per week.


Action-Oriented: What are you going to do to reach your goals? What action is required on your part?

Action-oriented goals allow you to focus on the actions that you need to take to make change happen.

Example: I will walk with my friend and will make appointments on my calendar.


Realistic: Is the goal within your current capabilities? Do you believe that you can accomplish this goal?

Realistic, but challenging goals allow you to feel satisfied with your achievement.

Example: I will walk at a moderate pace (unrealistic to speedwalk or run at the start)


Time-framed: How long will it take? When will you start?

Time-framed goals give you an endpoint and a clear target to work towards. Without a time frame there is no urgency to start working towards you goal.

Example: I will start in 2 days and will evaluate my progress in two weeks.



Activity logs can be a helpful way of setting out specific activities in advance, or keeping track of your activities and the progress of your goal


Blank log


More examples can be found here


You may want to order a Walk This Way kit for free which includes a laminated calendar with attachable magnet as well as a pedometer


Exercising at home, in a group or at a club – pros and cons –include?


Remember that proper nutrition and adequate sleep are also key to achieving activity goals. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.



Hamilton Family Health Team,—revised.pdf

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP),

Advocating for Physical Activity (2013), Ophea, PARC and Western Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging

Active Healthy Kids Canada,

Last modified on Jul 18, 2016