Ok, so we’ve all been guilty of this, we say to those around us that, “we’re going to lose weight” or that “we’re going to get into shape”, but we don’t make a specific goal other than this general statement. We use this statement because maybe we’ve been slacking on going to the gym lately or we’ve been eating junk food and we can feel ourselves falling further away from where we want to be in health and fitness. So, why is this general statement bad? Well, it’s not necessarily bad, I mean, it’s actually good that we can identify that we need to improve our health and fitness levels. The part that’s wrong with this statement though is that it is not specific, which means that we can’t measure it, which also means we don’t even know if it’s attainable or if our goals are even going to be relevant to what we’re wanting to accomplish and we don’t have a time component to the goal so we don’t really have a way to estimate how close we are to reaching our goal. This is why our goals, including our health and fitness goals, need to be SMART goals. SMART goals are far superior than the generic blanketed statement goals like, “I’m going to lose weight” because they don’t have a quantifiable aspect to them and if you don’t have something to measure how do you know if you’re making progress or how do you even know if its attainable?
SMART is an acronym used for goal setting and I’ve seen the acronym stand for different words. There are different variations of the SMART acronym but in our health and fitness matters let’s use the following words for the SMART acronym. The S is going to stand for specific. This means that our goals need to be specific and cant just be a generic statement. The M stands for measurable. This means that your goal must be able to be measured somehow. For example, I’m going to lose 15 lbs as opposed to “I’m going to lose weight”. The A stands for attainable. This is where you need to ask yourself, “Will I be able to accomplish my goal with the level of time and resources that I’m willing to put towards it?” This can be a tough question because it involves a little mental estimating. The R stands for relevant. Now, this gets more into the strategy of reaching your goal. For the R you need to ask yourself, “Are the things I’m doing helping me reach my goal?” In other words, are they relevant to helping you accomplish what you set out to accomplish? Finally, we come to the T. The T is going to stand for time. Our goals need to have a time component. For example, I’m going to lose 15lbs over the next 5 months.
When you’re creating your health and fitness SMART goals I recommend talking to a personal trainer or someone that can help you get a specific training program that will help give you direction on how to reach your health and fitness goals. You personal trainer might even be able to refer you to someone that can put a meal plan together or they might have the knowledge to help you themselves. I’m a complete believer that if you have goals that you’re serious about you need to consult with the pros. They can help you nail down your smart goals and can help create a road map on how to achieve your SMART goals. Surrounding yourself with a good team is important for all of your health, wealth, and happiness goals. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for advice and information.
Take the time to write down your SMART goals on paper and hang it up by your computer or somewhere that you’ll see it regularly. Also, you can use apps such as OneNote on your phone to list your SMART goals. This way they are easy to review and to measure your progress. As you start on your path towards your goals, remember one of my favorite quotes by Lau Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Start small and remember to keep pushing forward. If you get a little off track put your mess-up behind you, don’t let it get you down, and keep stepping forward. When it comes to goals it’s not always a straight line from where we start to the point we’re trying to get to, there’s ups and downs. You can do it! Your potential is greater than you know!