If you want to change any part of your life, set smart goals and achieve them. That’s especially true for weight loss or fitness goals. Smart is actually an acronym for a goal setting strategy that outlines how to create the goals to ensure you create a map that’s specific enough to achieve them. Setting goals is important. It acts like a road map for a trip. You identify where you want to get and the route you’ll take to get there. It also identifies how long it will take to achieve the goal.
The S in SMART stands for specific.
If you want to look better, you need to identify exactly what that means. Looking better could mean getting a haircut, but it also could mean getting into shape and losing weight. If it’s the latter, it’s actually two ultimate goals that go hand in hand. One is to get fitter and the other is to shed pounds. Getting more specific means you identify the number of pounds, such as 15 pounds for the weight loss goal. For the fitness goal, it might mean being able to run up ten flights of stairs in two minutes or being able to lift 100 pounds. Be precise when you set a goal.
The M is for measurable.
I want to be healthy isn’t measurable. I want my blood sugar levels to return to normal. I want to be able to run two blocks without getting winded. I want to eat healthy well balanced meals that’s lower in calories and workout every day. Those last three goals can be measured. If you run one block and have to bend over to catch your breath, you haven’t achieved your goals.
A stands for attainable and R is for realistic.
A goal to grow taller is not attainable if you’re already at your adult height. (Although after working out, some people seem to increase their height because of improved posture.) A goal of losing four inches around the hips is attainable for people who are overweight. If you want to lose fifty pounds in four weeks, you’re not being realistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t use that as a big goal, but it does mean you have to give yourself more time to achieve it.
- The T in the SMART goal setting system stands for trackable. If you don’t record your progress, the potential to achieve the goal is diminished.
- While setting big goals is exciting, you should break those bigger goals down to smaller goals that are achieved quicker. That provides more motivation to continue.
- If you find that you have a set back or road block in the way, don’t worry. It’s part of life. Find a way around it and get back on track to achieving your goal.
- Goal are not carved in stone. Sometimes you need to adjust them when changes occur in your life. Those changes may cause you to rethink your goal or even set a bigger goal.