When you are trying to take care of yourself you should be smart and you should have goals. Put them together and you have SMART goals. After talking about resolutions and wanting to make changes you must make a plan of action in order for things to happen. If you are either starting out or continuing on your fitness journey, goal setting is a great way to do it. It gives you a plan, a path, and helps with accountability, which many of us need.
Do you actually have to be smart to use SMART goals? Nope, I use them all the time. To be successful in fitness, business, and even in life, SMART goal setting and mapping can be extremely helpful. Let’s take a closer look.
SMART gives you a guide to how your goals should be structured.
S – Specific. Your dream/want/aspiration could be one of many things, for example, to lose weight. However, that’s just an open ended thought. How much weight? The specific goal might be to lose 30 lbs. Your specific goal could be to run a 5K in under 20 mins. Or maybe it’s to bench press your own body weight. Whatever you are striving towards, give yourself a destination. You can drive to the ocean but the ocean is pretty darn big. Pick the spot that’s right for you.
M – Measurable. Your goals should be measurable so you can track, keep accountable, and celebrate when reaching them. This also allows you to know when that particular goal has been accomplished and that it’s time to move to the next goal. Gaining momentum is very powerful. If your goal was losing 30 lbs and you wanted to do this over 3 months, you lose an average of 10 lbs a month. You can easily measure this along the way, adjust your program as needed, and celebrate when you reach the goal!
A – Attainable/Achievable. You must be able to reach your goals otherwise your efforts will be not lead to the desired results and this can be deflating to your mental status making things more difficult going forward. You aren’t likely to lose 30 lbs in a week in a healthy manner. If that is the goal and it falls far short, many people will be tempted to give up instead of trying again. However, if you set goals that are achievable, you make that goal and build momentum as we talked about previously.
R – Relevant. The goal needs to fall in line with what you what to accomplish overall. If your goal is losing weight but your SMART goal is benching your own body weight, while both are physical fitness goals, they aren’t related or relevant to each other. Staying focused takes…focus. You may have multiple goals going on at the same time. Don’t let a lack in one derail the other. Track them each separately and move forward in each appropriately.
T – Time-Bound. As we mentioned above, time should be taken into consideration when setting the goal. The time-bound aspect sets a “deadline” or better; a finish line for your goal. You want to lose 30 lbs by August 25th. This gives you the 3 months and the ability to plan out the steps that will take you to your goal. Whatever your goal is, set the date you want it done keeping in mind the other aspects of being Measurable, Attainable and Relevant.
When you are going towards your goals and you aren’t hitting your numbers you may want to reassess and ensure they are “A” or attainable. If you are just behind don’t degrade yourself for procrastinating or being lazy (more on self-talk to come) but push in a positive manner. Revamp your timeline if needed, but don’t let it all fall apart. Allow yourself to achieve your smaller, incremental goals and build on that.
Be smart, set your goals, ReForm.