Have you ever had a goal you really wanted to achieve, but failed miserably? Everyone at some point in their life can say yes to that. One way to ensure you do achieve a goal is to make it a SMART goal. Each letter in the word SMART is important. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely and a way to create goals that help ensure success.
The S stands for specific.
Rather than say I want to lose weight, identify a specific amount. If you lost an ounce, it would count as weight loss, but probably not what you intended as your goal. The goal should be specific. It should start with, “I will lose 20-pounds, 30-pounds,…” or whatever amount is right for you. The more specific you are, the easier it is to know you’ve reached your goal and identify success.
M is for measurable in the acronym SMART goals.
Stating a specific number of pounds to lose is measurable. You can weigh yourself and know whether you’ve achieved your goals. Saying I want to increase my endurance is more specific, but is it measurable? Absolutely! You do have to decide how to measure it. Are you going to use circuit training and the number of circuits you complete or how far or long you can run at top speed? People who have health issues may use their blood pressure or blood glucose levels to measure success. You don’t know if you’ve made progress unless you have a consistent way to measure that progress.
Is the goal attainable and relevant?
If you’re ten pounds overweight and want to lose ten pounds, it’s attainable. If you’re 5′ 3″ and want to be 6′ 5″, it’s not possible. The same is true of someone with a large-bone structure wanting to be small-boned and petite. Some things just can’t be changed, so enjoy your uniqueness. Relevance is all about how important the goal is to you. Have you always felt comfortable and looked good at your weight? If a friend or family member tells you to lose weight, you may start, but won’t be as motivated as you would be if you really wanted it in the first place.
- T is for timely. Give yourself a deadline or your goal becomes a “someday” goal, which normally never comes to fruition. Keep your time frame realistic. Losing 100 pounds in a month isn’t possible but losing 10 pounds is.
- If you have a big goal, like losing a significant amount of weight, breaking your goal down into smaller SMART goals you can achieve quickly. Smaller successes keep you motivated.
- You need the goals to be measurable so you can track your success. Winners keep score. Once a week, check your progress and write down your weight, blood pressure, or whatever measurement you chose.
- Your goals should be a priority. It’s why relevance is so important. Schedule your workout and make it an appointment, so you’ll be more likely to stick with the program. Try meal planning to help with weight loss. It’s worth the extra effort if you want to achieve your goal.
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