Let’s talk about smart goals and how they can help you crush your health and fitness!
You may have heard the term S.M.A.R.T goals thrown around back in high school, and probably thought nothing of it. You may have done an exercise or two on a worksheet your teacher gave you. Some people don’t like to set goals, or perhaps were never taught how to properly chase after them in order to achieve success. However, today we are going to look at the extreme importance of setting SMART goals!
So What Is A Smart Goal?
The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timeframe.
Let’s explore in detail what each of these actually means in terms of goal setting.
In this case, we will use this goal as an example ‘’I want to lose weight.’’
This is a very broad and non-specific goal, with so much room for failure.
Let’s turn it into a smart goal:
Specific – This means we need a tangible, quantifiable number (bear in mind this can be a ‘’scale’’ or ‘’ non-scale’’ number). For example – I want to lose 15lbs. Now we have a specific number to work towards. If the scale isn’t your thing, you can use a different unit of measurement. Another example would be ‘’ I want to lose 5 inches off of my waist’’. Similar goal but a different way of wording it.
Measurable – Make your goal trackable or possible to be measured. For example
Don’t say ‘’ I want to fit into a smaller dress size’’. Say instead’’ I want to go from a size 14 to a size 12’’. Bringing it back to our original goal of losing 15 lbs, this is easily measurable via a scale.
Attainable – give yourself a healthy challenge, but don’t stretch yourself too thin! This can be where things unravel for a lot of people who set fitness & health goals, they set MUCH too lofty of objectives, and get disappointed and discouraged when they don’t attain them! For example, if your goal is to complete 7 workouts every week, but you are a busy mom working 2 jobs, how realistic is that really? It is much wiser to set goals that you KNOW are possible for you to achieve.
Realistic – Be honest with yourself and your abilities, and don’t forget to factor in possible hurdles that you may have to overcome on your path to success. If your goal is to lose 15 lbs in one week, but you struggle with binge eating the odds of you achieving your goal is slim to none (by the way this is extremely unhealthy and unattainable for most, we are just using this for the sake of sticking to the original example)
Timeframe – Give yourself a specific deadline with a DATE! So if your goal is to lose 15lbs, a realistic and attainable time frame might be 3 months. If the date today is Sept 1st, mark your calendar for Dec 1 as your deadline!
If you can, split your smart goal into smaller, short-term goals in order to help you on your path to success.
How To Set SMART Goals
An example of this would be:
- Long-term goal: Lose 15 lbs by Dec 1st.
Short term goals:
- Complete 4, 1 hr workouts, and calculate calorie deficit by the end of week 1 (Sept 7th).
- Complete 4, 1 hr workouts , and track all meals to stay in a calorie deficit by week 2 (sept 8-14th)
- Complete 4, 1 hr workouts, track all meals, and drink 3L of water per day by week 3….
The likelihood of achieving your long-term goal is much higher if you can achieve all of your weekly short-term goals on the way!
What are some examples of health goals?
Consider the following:
- I want to lose 10’’ off my body overall, to fit into my wedding dress by Jan 1, 2022.
- I want to increase my daily energy level from 3/10 to a 9/10, by Dec 1st. This one is wonderful because it may seem hard to quantify energy level, but using a 1-10 scale makes it easy for your mind to wrap around the number, and you can constantly check in with yourself daily to see where you rank.
- I want to gain flexibility, and be able to touch my toes comfortably by the end of this month.
- I want to be able to go up 3 flights of stairs without losing my breath by Oct 1st.
- I want to reduce my cholesterol level by 50mg/dl in the next 6 months so that I am within the healthy range.
Examples of smart goals for strength training:
- I want to gain 5 lbs of muscle by Dec 1st and increase my Squat PR to 200lbs
- I want to be able to do 3 bodyweight pull-ups by next week
- I want to be able to successfully navigate the gym floor and have 1 great 30-minute workout without feeling lost, by next month.
- I want to grow my glutes 4’’ and be able to deadlift my body weight in 6 months.
S.M.A.R.T Goals For Health In Action
Now that you’ve seen some examples of smart goals for health, it’s time for you to put them to work! The next steps I highly recommend you take are
- Write down all of your S.M.A.R.T goals for the next month
- Tell someone about them!
Telling somebody about your goals will do wonders for you. Not only will telling someone your goals keep you accountable, but it will also make you more motivated. The reasoning for this is that whoever you decide to tell, you likely have a good amount of respect for them. You are going to want to prove to not only yourself, but to this person that you’re capable of crushing your goals.
You may have heard the saying before, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” If you have ambitious goals for your health and fitness that seem overwhelming or impossible, remember everything you’ve just read. Set the S.M.A.R.T goals that you know you can crush, and you’ll find yourself achieving your ultimate goals sooner than you thought possible. You got this!