If you’re having trouble reach your goals and you’re ready to take them seriously, I suggest you keep reading so that you can start the new school year with a bang and truly achieve your fitness goals.
Being S.M.A.R.T about your goal making will make it is much more likely that you will achieve your goals.S.M.A.R.T of course is a memorable acronym, but what does it stand for?
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Adjustable
R – Realistic
T – Time-based
S means that your goal is Specific. Know what you are going to do to achieve your goal. Think about this. Rather than just saying that your goal is to eat healthier, say that your goal is to buy a new vegetable every week. The latter is much more specific and will ultimately lead you to eating healthier. Similarly, your goal must be Measurable. How do you know when you have achieved your goal? With the aforementioned example your measure could be by checking your weekly receipts. Check them to see if you are buying a new vegetable and decreasing the amount of processed carbohydrate you are purchasing.
The most important letter of this acronym to me is A. If you find yourself in a cycle of not completing your goal you need to change something! A is for Adjustable – adjust your goal accordingly and don’t get stuck. Do some research and find alternative goal supporting activities that you can engage in to push through plateaus.
Your goal also has to be something that you are able and willing to work for. You need to believe it can be done! That’s why R is for Realistic. Believe and achieve. If you don’t think that you currently have the tools you need in order to achieve your goal, seek out resources to increase your competency. If you goal is exercise related, read as many articles as you can, enlist the help of a personal trainer, or start taking group fitness classes. Getting out of your comfort zone will pay off tenfold in increased self efficacy and confidence.
Lastly your goal needs to be T – Time-based. Give yourself a sense of urgency so that you don’t get in the cycle of putting things off.
Getting Started With Your Fitness Goals
Try this exercise to get yourself started in the right direction.
- Write down your goal. (ex. Walk 3 miles without stopping)
- Describe how meeting this goal will benefit your life. Why is this goal important to you?
- Now, write down a comprehensive list of goal supporting activities. (ex. Keep a pair of sneakers in the car, set my alarm so I have time to walk)
- Rate each of those goal supporting activities on a scale from one to three with one being the easiest and three being the hardest.
- Choose two of your “ones” to focus on implementing this week. Each week, choose two more of those goal supporting activities to implement until you have completed all of the “ones.” Next, take on the “twos” and “threes.” You’ll be developing lifelong healthy habits in no time.
- Think of all the things that could potentially get in the way of you meeting your goal. Some might call these “excuses” that might stop you. Write those down.
- For each excuse you wrote down, think of some counter-measures so that you know how to react to adversity.
- Now that you’ve completed each of these steps, find a reliable friend or trainer to check in with you about how your goals are coming along each week. Having someone help keep you accountable can help massively with staying on track.
Take Home Message
Goal setting is an important process for determining what is important for you to achieve with your health and fitness and making a plan to go after it. Prepare for your failures and stay focused on the end result you desire and you’ll be sure to get there.