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Setting SMART fitness goals is very important in order to get flat abs over 40.

Not only are goals super important, but when you take the time to write them out and define where you’re heading, you’ll actually achieve them much faster than if you simply go out there and start training without a plan of action.

Getting abs over 40 is possible, you just have to believe it and then take the necessary steps in order to get there.

You have to know how to train correctly, you have to know how eat correctly and you have to avoid the fads and fallacies of the mainstream fitness gurus.

Getting abs over 40 comes down to setting some intelligent SMART goals and then breaking that long term goal up into monthly, weekly and daily units so that you’re actually on the right path to achieving your goal rather than guessing.

Here’s a guide to make SMART goals work for you:

Make the goal Specific

Being specific on what you want to achieve is incredibly powerful. A specific goal will really get you focused on what you need to do to get the job done.

If you want to get lean, you should know how much body fat you need to lose in order to reach that goal.

Once you know that number, make it specific by writing it down, don’t just randomly start training or you’ll be less likely to reach your goal. A specific goal could be “I want to lose 15 pounds of fat in the next 15 weeks.” A none specific goal could be “I want to lose some fat in the next 15 weeks.”

By defining exactly what you’re going to achieve in the next 15 weeks you’ll be a lot more likely to succeed than if you start training and just hope to lose some fat.

It’s a proven fact that if you write the goal down you’ll be much more likely to achieve it.

Make the goal Measurable

By making the goal measurable you’ll know if you’re on the right track to reaching the goal in the first place. For example, let’s say you’ve got 20 pounds of fat to lose, after week 2 you should have lost 2 pounds of fat.

But if you have no way of measuring if you’re on the right track then you won’t know if you’re going to hit your long term goal.

By making it measurable you should actually be able to see progress happening week by week i.e. a slight reduction in body fat, a slight increase in lean muscle, these small successes are important because if you’re not starting to see some results, something needs to be changed with your training and nutrition plan in order to start making progress happen.

Make the goal Achievable

Whatever goal you set should be achievable, if the goal is too lofty i.e. you want to lose 15 pounds of fat in 2 weeks, then it’s not going to be achievable no matter how hard you try.

On the other hand, if you set a goal that isn’t challenging enough, you won’t be motivated enough to see it through to the end. When getting lean I never recommend losing more than a few pounds of fat per week, the slow steady cooking method is the fastest way to long term progress.

Those that try and lose body fat faster will end up with a down regulated metabolism and not reach their goal any faster. The key to permanent fat loss is accepting that the relatively slow route to fat loss is the fastest route in the long run.

Whenever you set a goal, think about if its achievable for your unique personal circumstances.

Perhaps you’ve just started a new demanding career or extremely busy in your life in general, take that into account before setting a goal that’s too challenging.

Make the goal Realistic

Be realistic when you set the goal. Losing 15 pounds of fat in 2 weeks is not realistic, but losing 15 pounds of fat in 4 months or so is a realistic goal to set.

If you set goals that simply aren’t realistic it will just make you feel like a failure when you can’t reach them. It’s much better to set goals that are attainable over the long term than to set short term goals that are simply beyond reach.

Give the goal a deadline

This simply means putting a date on the goal. If you go about setting a goal without a deadline you could take forever to get to the goal.

But if you put a deadline on it such as a holiday you need to be in shape for, a wedding, a fitness competition or an important event you want to look good for, you’ll be much more likely to achieve that goal more quickly.

Personal example

I set myself a date for a fitness competition and then worked backwards towards that date. The competition date was in October 2016 and I knew how much body fat I had to lose and lean muscle I had to gain in order to hit my target body fat percentage of 7%.

For the first 3 months I focused on improving all my major compound exercises, getting stronger on all the exercises that mattered. Then for the last 3 months I changed focus and focused on really leaning down to a very low percentage of body fat.

I tracked all my lifts, calories, body weight and body fat percentage in order to make the goal a reality. If I’d try to do both at the same time the goal would have been less specific. Each goal was slightly different, I had a 3-month goal for gaining some lean muscle and another 3-month goal for losing some body fat.

But I knew once the goal was planned out it was simply a case of ensuring I did everything right each day. As I got each day right, the weeks would also become productive.

As the weeks became productive so would the months ahead, that’s how you make progress!

The main take home message from that transformation is to set your goal and then start working backwards towards it. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you simply execute with confidence that you’re going to reach your target goal, providing you have a solid training and nutrition plan.

What to do right now

If you’ve been thinking about getting back in shape for a while, but aren’t sure where to begin, take a few minutes to write out some SMART goals today.

If you’re not prepared to do it today, when are you going to be prepared? Just commit and get it done today!

Write down some specific goals, make them measurable, achievable, realistic and of course time orientated so you can start making progress towards them.

Don’t put it off another minute. Today is the start of the rest of your life, isn’t it about time you started working towards your goals and actually making them a reality?

To your success!

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