SMART Goals May Not Be as Helpful as You Think, Study Suggests
Runner’s World reports on a study published in Health Psychology Review suggesting the SMART formula for setting goals, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based, might not be as effective as an exercise tool as previously believed for physical activity.
Karen M. Sutton, MD, sports medicine surgeon at HSS, was not involved in the study but shared commentary on the implications.
According to Dr. Sutton, a difficulty with SMART goals may be a tendency to aim too low because of the “realistic” part of the formula. Dr. Sutton added that she’s observed incidence of undertraining when these goals are used.
Dr. Sutton added, “A mantra in our office is to pursue what puts a smile on your face. Someone should not be ruled by a step count or a generically technical or objective training program. A customized training program with room for enjoyment and reflection is my recommendation.”
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