With 2015 less than a month away, I thought I would address the subject of goal setting. You’ve probably heard of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. as it applies to setting your goals. I’ve tweaked it a little to add a few aspects that will pertain more to your health and fitness goals.
- “S” is for SERIOUS: Bottom Line: If you don’t take your goal seriously you’ll never reach it. Commitment is one of the keys to success in anything we hope to accomplish. And if you are serious you will write it down and keep it in front of you regularly.
- “M” is for MEASURABLE: What result are you looking for? A smaller dress or pant size, a lower body fat %, a sub-27 min 5K time? All of these are measurable. Be as specific as possible. For example, my goal for 2015 is to get back into my size 32 pants (I’m a 33 now.). I purposely left out body weight as a goal for a reason. Body weight is one of several ways to measure your progress, but it shouldn’t be the only way. More about that in a future post.
- “A” is for ACCOUNTABILITY: Accountability can be several things:
- Post your specific goal on social media for all to see.
- Better yet, invite someone to join you on your adventure to a better, healthier you.
- Use a mobile app (like Nike Plus or RunKeeper) that tracks your activity and sends it to someone or automatically posts it on social media is another good way.
Use whatever works to keep you motivated towards your goal. And here’s the most important aspect of accountability: you must give permission to give you a hard time if you aren’t sticking to your success plan.
- “R” is for REALISTIC: If you’re 50 years old and your goal is to fit into your old high school jeans, that’s probably not a realistic goal. However, losing a few inches off of your waist or hips is realistic. Also, be realistic about your expectations. It took years to put all of that extra fat on your body; it’s not going to come off in two weeks. Be committed and be patient. DON’T GIVE UP!!
- “T” is for TIME BASED: Any goal should have a end date to hit. But again, make it realistic. We’ll talk later about how to pick that elusive end date. For most health/fitness related goals 3-6 months is a minimum.
- “E” is for EVALUATE: For your goal to be measurable, you’ll need a starting point (measurements, weight, before pic, and possibly % bodyfat, etc.) that you can periodically check against to see how you’re progressing. I’m not saying you have to record every calorie and every rep, but the easiest way to determine if you are moving in the right direction is to record at least some data points related to your goal. And if you aren’t where you want to be, maybe it’s time to…
- “R” is for REVISE: Sometimes life throws us curve balls. Maybe it’s the holiday season with all of the extra food, desserts, etc. Or maybe the job got in the way, or maybe we don’t have quite as much time for the gym as we originally thought. Whatever the reason, make the necessary changes to your plan and keep going.
This should give you what you need to set your goals. All you need now is a plan to reach it.
If you have any questions or thoughts please use the comment section below.