It doesn’t matter whether you’re going for a title in body building, hoping to boost your energy or trying to lose weight, to achieve the most, you need to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Those words are the outline for the most successful goal setting. First, start with a specific goal. It’s not enough to say you want to get fitter, you need to identify what that means. It could mean you want to lose weight, build strength or improve your endurance. Decide exactly what you want.
Make a goal you can measure.
You need to be able to measure and identify the goal. “I’ll know it when I feel better,” is not measurable, but “I want to lose 25 pounds,” is. If your goal is to build your endurance, you can use number of reps as your guide or distance run if you’re a runner. For strength, that’s simple, it’s the amount of weight you want to be able to lift.
Is your goal achievable?
Losing ten pounds a month is achievable. Losing ten pounds a week for a month isn’t, at least not in a healthy manner. Is your desire something that’s possible? While you might have a LOT of weight to lose, you won’t do it all at once, it takes time and your goal should reflect it. That’s why people often set a big ultimate goal and break it down to smaller mini goals they can achieve quicker.
How relevant is your goal?
One of the problems I find people often struggle with is that they start a workout program for someone else. Maybe a spouse suggested they needed to lose weight or a friend. If working out is to improve your health because you want to see your children grow to adulthood, that’s really a goal for you, even though it involves your children. You must be vested in the goal and excited to achieve it. That excitement is motivation to keep you going when the going gets tough.
- You need a time frame to achieve your goals. If you don’t set a specific time to achieve the goal, it never occurs. You can use a longer time frame for bigger goals and break it down to smaller ones. A big goal may take a year, but your smaller ones could be as little as a week to a month at a time.
- Changing your goals isn’t bad. Maybe you started out just wanting to lose a few pounds, but you were so successful, you now want to compete in bodybuilding. That’s not only okay, it’s great!
- Find out what’s stopping you from achieving your goals and set some supplemental goals. You might not know how to cook healthy, so eating healthy foods for weight loss is tough. Set a goal to learn something new each week.
- Make sure you enjoy what you do. There are a lot of ways to achieve fitness goals, why not include things you enjoy. Hiking, swimming and dancing will build muscle tissue and burn calories, too.