As the saying goes, "A goal is just a wish with a deadline." In order to make your health and fitness goals a reality you will need a plan. And not just any plan, a smart plan!
The S.M.A.R.T. goal setting approach will set you up for success by helping you define your goals, supplying a clear course of action, and outlining steps it will take to get you there.
Step 1 - Specific. Be specific when stating what you want to accomplish. Including the why, where, who, what, and when to help make your goal crystal clear.
Example: I want to lose 20 lbs. so I can look and feel my best, live life without limitations and enjoy participating in physical activities with my friends and family.
Step 2 - Measurable. Determine how your success will be measured. Will it be by one or multiple sources?
Weekly or monthly weigh ins to measure pounds lost
Measurements to see inches lost at waist and hips
Logging in regular to a dietary and/or fitness tracker to track time spent
Checking off a daily or weekly scorecard or calendar to measure accountability
Step 3 - Achievable. Ask yourself if the goal is achievable. While your goal can be set high, it should also be realistic, safe, and manageable given the time, energy and effort you will put in.
"Today I will bring a healthy snack to work instead of visiting to the vending machine" will set you up for realistic success, versus, I am going to cut out all processed foods
"I will engage in some form of exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week" will set you up for a safe and realistic fitness experience when beginning a new exercise program, versus a goal of 60 minutes 5 times a week, which could result in burnout or even worse, injury.
Step 4 - Relevant. Create realistic steps that empower your success - ask if this path is realistic with your current health needs, lifestyle and abilities? Just like in Step - 3 you can set the bar high so long as you can realistically maintain it. An all or nothing approach rarely works (or sticks!) make sure you are realistic about what you can and will do.
A relevant goal should be able to answer "yes" to the following questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
Am I the right person to reach this goal?
Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
Step 5 - Timely. Give your goal a specific timeframe for completion - by placing a deadline date on your goal you are more accountable to make it happen. The clock is ticking and we can see the time counting down!
Example: My goal is to lose 8 pounds oner the next 12 weeks - and set the date 12 weeks from today! Put it on your calendar, a reminder on your phone, places you will see and be reminded of your goal.
Let's Go Win Some Goals!