By Annalise Simsek, Coach at FIT
“The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.” Ben Stein
Let’s face it, the dust settled around your New Year’s Fitness Resolution ages ago, right? It’s now Spring, and despite your best intentions, you’ve not seen the amazing results you promised yourself you would achieve back in January. Instead, you feel lackluster at best and are ready to give up because, if it isn’t happening now, it just ain’t gonna happen.
What went wrong?
The problem with resolutions is they don’t automatically create action to achieve a positive result. More a hope or dream than true catalyst for change, your resolutions need support of well thought out goals to produce results.
Without a clear goal, you have no road map. Without a road map, you can’t pinpoint exactly where you want to go. Furthermore, without a road map, you can’t actually determine when you have arrived either.
So, how do you go about setting your goal? First, you need to decide what you want to achieve. For the sake of argument, let’s use weight loss as an example. Maybe you can relate?
Over the past few years, you’ve seen your weight creep up 20 pounds as your life has become more sedentary. You feel unhealthy and know that becoming more active will help you lose the weight. It’s a vague notion that’s finally left you frustrated enough to really take action and make a lasting change for the better.
Sounds like you are ready to set your fitness goal, but you need to make sure it is S.M.A.R.T.
To be S.M.A.R.T, your goal needs to adhere to these guidelines:
Specific: State exactly what you want to accomplish.
Measurable: Determine how you will evaluate and know you have reached your goal.
Achievable: Make your goal challenging, but also realistic.
Relevant: Your goal should be inspiring, personally significant and make you want to achieve it!
Time Based: Set a specific completion date to achieve your goal.
Ok, you think, “my goal is to lose 20 pounds and I want to be more active”. Good start, but it’s still a little too vague. To make the goal truly S.M.A.R.T., let’s get more specific:
My goal is to lose 20 pounds to weigh 165 in 3 months’ time.
That’s better; now, how are you going to do it?
I will achieve my goal by increasing my activity level to 5 hours per week. This will include 3 hours of strength training, 30 minutes of conditioning, 30 minutes of active recovery and 1 hour of general activity each week for 3 months. I will target losing 2 pounds per week and will measure my progress with bi-weekly weigh-ins to ensure I am on track to reach my target at the end of 3 months.
Congratulations, that’s more like it!
Your goal is now specific, you can measure it, it is certainly achievable, relevant and has a definite time line. You are much more likely to achieve the weight loss because you have a plan. Well done!
The last thing to do is hold yourself accountable. Write your goal down, hang it up somewhere visible, share it with your friends and family and get after achieving results.
S.M.A.R.T. goal, sorted!