We’ve all been told at some point in our lives to set a goal, but do you know how to set a goal that will help you? How many times have you decided on January 1st you would go to the gym and eat healthy and it lasted 2 weeks? This is because you are probably making it unrealistic and setting yourself up for failure. We all want to lose all the extra weight we have or run like a marathoner in one week, but that just isn’t going to happen. This is why we need SMART Goals!
SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound.
Specific: An exact time, place, location, etc.
Measurable: Specific number of inches or weight you want to lose, length of a workout, etc.
Achievable: If you haven’t been running don’t say I’m running my first marathon next week. This would be setting yourself up for failure. Instead say I will start walking 2x a week.
Realistic: This is pretty much reiterating the Attainable piece. Be kind to yourself by making it fit into your schedule and make it something feasible.
Time-bound: Give the goal an end date so you know you’ve accomplished it and it does not seem never ending and overwhelming. Example is by Labor Day; I want to be 10 pounds lighter.
Below are two examples, one being a SMART Goal and the other is not.
1. Jane is going to walk 7 days a week, 8 miles a day forever. She does not do any activity now and just started a new job but feels she can do it. NOT A SMART GOAL
2. Sara just started a new job and is sitting at her desk a lot more so she feels she needs to find time to walk. Sara is going to walk every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on her lunch break for 20 minutes for the next 2 months (July and August) ending on the last Friday in August. SMART GOAL
Can you see the difference? Jane is not being realistic with her time or abilities. She will quickly become overwhelmed and give up. She will end up doing more damage to herself by setting this unrealistic goal and may start snowballing into causing more emotional pain for herself. On the other hand, Sara put thought into her goal, taking her lifestyle and abilities into consideration. She used all of the elements of a SMART Goal. It is specific: 20 minutes on her lunchbreak ever Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s measurable because she gives a length of time (20 minutes), seems very achievable and realistic as she is fitting it into her workday and time-bound with and end date (July and August and ending the last Friday of August).
And, most of the time once you’ve completed a SMART Goal, you will feel accomplished and motivated to set your next SMART Goal. This is a habit we want to establish!
Having SMART Goals for yourself will make your journey to healthy living so much more enjoyable and doable. If you feel overwhelmed and need help setting up your SMART Goals, I’d love to help you. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website, www.livewellwithtina.com and register for a Free Body Breakthrough Discovery Call.
In Good Health,