Does the new year leave you feeling anxious about setting more goals that will just leave you feeling like you’ve fallen short yet again? It’s always great to have this fresh start once a year, but are you reminiscing about how you may not have achieved all that you’ve set out to achieve last year? Or you may also be looking back on other nearly impossible goals you set and wondering how you DID reach them! Either way, we love goals. They keep us progressing towards better versions of ourselves. No matter what your goals may be this year, let’s debunk the secrets to keeping them “SMART”. Use these questions to streamline your goals, and set yourself up for nothing but success!
1. Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is the goal important?
Imagine that you are a brand new mom and would like to lose your baby weight. A specific goal could be: “I want to be able to fit into the clothes that I was wearing pre-pregnancy so that I can feel better and be a healthy mom to raise my child.”
A general goal would be “I want to get in shape”. A specific goal would be “to get stronger so that I am able to have the endurance and strength to hold my grandchildren and play with them.”
2. Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
How will I know when this goal has been accomplished?
You might want to measure this goal by committing to working out 4x per week and aiming to lose a pound of fat per week until you reach the number of waistline inches you will need to lose in order to fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans.
To measure this goal you might want to track your progress weekly by committing to strength training 3x and completing 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity per week. You might track the amount of resistance and repetitions you are able to complete each week during your strength training sessions as well as tracking how long you are able to endure cardiovascular activities in order to gauge progress.
3. Achievable (agreed, attainable)
How can I accomplish this goal?
What resources might you need?
Consider the resources you may need in order to achieve your goal. This might look like joining a local gym and planning to engage with a community of supportive and encouraging women who have similar goals.
Think about what you might need in order to accomplish improved strength and endurance. This might include hiring a qualified and experienced personal trainer to assist with creating a safe workout program that aligns with your goals, meets you at your current level, and tracks your progress by performing regular assessments with you to make sure you are on target.
4. Realistic (reasonable, result-based)
Does this goal seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Do you have any barriers preventing you from putting forth the appropriate time commitment needed to endure a consistent workout and lifestyle routine? A barrier could look like finding time away from your child(ren) to squeeze in a workout. This may require a discussion with your spouse about coordinating when you can take some “me” time out of the morning or evening to spend some time exercising or planning out and cooking healthy/balanced meals for the week.
What are some limitations that you may have to overcome in order to stay committed to your goal? An example might be a previous injury or health condition that may require a specialized training approach.
5. Timely (time-sensitive)
What can I do six months/six weeks from now?
What can I do today?
For example, you may commit to starting your journey at the gym on January 2nd and give yourself until June 1st to reach this goal. A 5 month plan would allow for you to lose a pound of fat per week which would be 20 pounds lost by June 1st.
You may decide to work through your first training session with your trainer on February 1st and aim to be able to join your family at the amusement park for a long day of walking and watching small grandchildren by mid-June..