It’s hump day, you’re already feeling that midweek slump and you may have even succumbed to the allure of the sweets trolley that has been wheeled around your office (we can’t really blame you!). The temptation to give in and forget your fitness goals is everywhere and it can leave you feeling less than stellar. All of that being said, it’s important to remember that no one is perfect and that we should strive for marked progress rather than a perfect version of ourselves, as we all know, perfect simply doesn’t exist!
So, let’s forget those sugary indiscretions and get back on track using a process of goal setting, well known in business but lesser known in fitness, SMART goals. We’re going to help you finesse the ART of setting SMART goals to ensure that you’re armed with motivation and the feeling that anything is possible!
SMART goals are defined as the following;
Specific // So rather than saying ‘I want to lose weight’ you could say ‘I will lose 2 lbs by the end of this week’.
Measurable // By measurable we mean, is it easy to see when you have reached your goal? Can it be measured? Here you will weigh yourself to see whether or not you have achieved your target of 2lbs weight loss. Or it could be for example that your goal is to complete 3 x workouts per week, this will then be measurable by counting how many workouts you have successfully completed by the end of the week.
Achievable // The goal you set for yourself should stretch you whilst still being achievable. This is probably one of the biggest things we do that can ultimately set us up for failure, or success before we have even started. If for example, you haven’t ever ran more than 5km, it is unrealistic to expect that you will be able to run a marathon by the end of the week. If you currently workout once per week and would like to do more, your goal could be to workout 3 x per week. It will push you to do more than you’re currently used to but it is still reasonable to expect that you will achieve this goal.
Relevant // Is the goal relevant to you? Gaining fitness, losing weight, whatever it is that you’re trying to do, it’s important that you feel motivated from within to achieve that goal. If you are just doing it because you think you should, or it’s something that your spouse or friend has recommended you do, it’s far less likely that when you’re tired after a long day, you will actually stick to it. Although the reasons can vary from person to person, the main thing is that you have to want to do this, for yourself.
Time bound // How long are you going to give yourself to achieve these goals? Although it’s tempting to set the big goal of ‘I will lose 30lbs!’. Setting short term goals will actually help you start with your weight loss journey and get you on the way to achieving that big overall goal! As the saying goes, the best way to eat an Elephant is by taking very small bites!
Once you have figured out what it is you want to achieve from the week and how you are going to go about it, write your SMART goals down as clearly and as concisely as you can manage and then stick them somewhere you will see them at least once per day. For example, you could tape them to your bathroom mirror, or the fridge, both options I have found to work well for me. That’s all there is to it! You are now armed with one of the most brilliant tools there is, in goal setting and achieving!
Now, get out there and turn those dreams into reality!