Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I woke up on July 1 realizing that even though I watched what I ate and worked out every day in June, I only lost 1 pound. Maybe I'm not pushing hard enough or being disciplined enough in my eating, and because of that I need to step it up.

When I first laid out my 6 month workout plan, I pictured the end result but didn't set up any mile stones along the way to keep me on track. That's the biggest thing June taught me. So for July I set 2 goals.

I need to lose 10 pounds and I need to finally get my Personal Training Certification so that I can move on to the next phase of my life which is to start my business and work on my competing goals. I know that it is realistic and healthy to lose 2 pounds per week so I should go for losing 8 pounds in a month's time, but I'm going to shoot for 10 anyway.

Have you ever set a goal and found that maybe it was too vague or unrealistic and you ended up not making that goal? Did it end up making you feel discouraged? It certainly is an easy way to set yourself up for failure!

You've probably heard of this acronym before but you need to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals! That is:

(S)pecific - You can't just say I want to lose weight. I want to be successful. Successful how? Pick up 5 new clients? Now that is more specific! Give yourself an actual number.

For me it is 10 pounds and a passing test score.

(M)easurable - You have to be able to keep track of your progress. I can say that I want to eat healthy for a goal but how can I measure just how much or how little I've eaten healthy? If I said eat 3 healthy meals a week, well now I can track that!

I'll measure my weight with the scale and I'll measure my test passing with the actual score.

(A)ttainable - This is where being realistic comes to play. 50 pounds in 6 weeks? Sure it's specific and measurable but attainable? You are either going to be sorely disappointed or sick and really hungry!

My 10 pounds in 4 weeks goal is realistic in that 8 pounds is healthy and that I'm counting on the last two pounds to be water weight that I have been retaining the last couple weeks. Taking and passing the test in 4 weeks? If I had never opened the study materials until today, probably unrealistic. But I've been studying the material since January. It must be realistic that I should take the test in a month. :-)

(R)elevant - You want to make sure that the goals you set along your journey to reach your dreams are in line with your ultimate goal. Sure I'd love to run a marathon someday. I could add that into my fitness goals right now, tell myself that I want to run a marathon before the end of this year, but it isn't in line with my ultimate goal to compete. That much cardio training would hinder my muscle growth. However, losing my last 10 pounds gets me closer to the physique I want and getting certified will help me in staying passionate and dedicated to my fitness.

(T)ime-bound - The biggest mistake you can make is to say "someday". Procrastination kicks in and you end up reassuring yourself by saying things like, "Well, I'll start on that next week." Or next month, or after your birthday, and the list can go on and on. However, give yourself a set deadline and now you got a reason to push yourself!

I told myself I wanted to lose weight by summer and that I wanted to start my own business this year. Here I am in July not really having done either thing. So I fixed my goals' flaw but giving them a set date. August 1st!

When making goals, don't stress yourself out about how to make it an effective goal. Go with what first comes to mind without thinking about making it S.M.A.R.T. Then you can modify it using the model. :-)

Are you setting new goals this month? Or are you currently working on a goal? If you like, I'd love to hear your goals! They don't have to be fitness related, they can any goal you have for anything! You can leave a comment below or on The STRONG Life's Facebook Page!

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