When choosing to embark on a new journey in life, it’s always good to have a game plan. Sure spontaneity is great, but when working towards a desired outcome, it makes sense. So why not be SMART about it?
Your health and fitness goals are no exception. Sitting down to design S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals will keep you motivated and accountable.
This means that you won’t “start working out next week.”
Instead, you’re going to work out next Tuesday at New York Sports Club at 6:37am, and you’re going to walk for 23 minutes on a treadmill, then do abs.
Do you see the difference? At every point, there is a defined point of accountability – a day, a time, a place and a specific game plan. You put it in your calendar and you hold yourself to it.
Remember our tracking fitness piece? Pick a few methods and use them to track your progress.
In relation to the above-mentioned gym date that you set with yourself, use the walk as an example. If last week you walked for 23 minutes on a treadmill and burned 201 calories, and this week you walked the same amount of time (a little bit faster) and burned 300 calories, then that’s measurable improvement. It’s good to have a small book, or open document that you can track progress with.
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal”- Earl Nightingale
Constantly working towards a goal is the single most important factor towards making it attainable. It’s not enough to map it out, but you have to get on the road and actually drive.
The more you drive, the closer you get. Even if you take a wrong turn, you learned a lesson, and now you get back on the path. Visualize where you want to be, and work to make sure that it’s within reach. Every single day, you should do something that brings you closer to your vision.
This is a tricky word for me. Being an eternal optimist, I never tell anyone to be realistic. But if you tell me that you want to lose 100lbs in 4 weeks, I will tell you to stretch that time frame out a bit.
Only you can determine what’s realistic for you or not, as long as you’re willing to work for it. So if your goal is to have ideal cholesterol and blood pressure levels along with toned arms, then realistically you should be willing to invest time in your kitchen and in the gym to make it happen.
Going along with everything else, your health and fitness goals should be timely. It’s not enough to set a goal, but you should have an idea of when you want to achieve it. By giving yourself a time frame, you set a schedule of work and effort that needs to be put in to attain that goal.
So if you have your eyes set on losing 20 pounds in 2 months, then you should have a track of 5 lbs every two weeks. Setting this time frame ensures that you consistently work towards the end result.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are not just for health and fitness, but for anything that you decide to pursue in life. Have a game plan, come out victorious.
What are other goal-setting methods that you use to stay on track? Comment below!