I hear it all the time, “I just want to get in shape.” That’s good! However, going to the gym with “getting in shape” as your goal likely won’t produce results. So how do you set goals that inspire you and that will keep you motivated to see it through? I’m glad you asked!
What Makes Goals So SMART?
So I’ve given you an example of a bad goal, but what does a good goal look like? Here’s an example:
“I want to lose 10 lbs. in 10 weeks by doing a 30 minute bodyweight circuit workout every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7am before work.”
This is a SMART goal – it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Let’s look at each of those pieces separately.
Make sure your goals are specific. This means that you will know whether or not you have attained your goal by the end. “Getting in shape” is not specific. It’s vague. How do I know if I’m “in shape” or not? This means something different to everyone. So find out what it means to you, whether it’s being able to run for an hour without stopping or being able to do your first pull up, and write it down. Be as specific as possible.
Also, create a specific plan for accomplishing your goal. How often will you work out? For how long? What will your workout consist of? If you don’t know this going in you will end up just messing around or not even doing it. Write down the specific days and times you will work out and what exercises you will do each time. Don’t leave any room for doubt.
For example, losing 10 lbs. in 10 weeks, doing 5 pull ups, running for 30 minutes. Your scale, your watch, the number of reps you perform; they should be able to tell you whether or not you’ve achieved your goal.
To make attainable goals, you have to know yourself, and this comes with experience. For example, I thought I would be able to do a 10 second freestanding handstand in a few months, or a year tops. Four years later I’m pretty close, but still not quite there. Sometimes you don’t know how hard something will be until you try.
In the goal above, losing 10 lbs. in 10 weeks is attainable because you can expect to lose about 1 lb. per week by achieving a 500 calorie deficit each day (whether through diet or exercise). That is, burning 500 more calories than you eat.
Are your goals things you actually want? Are they going to improve your quality of life? Or are you just doing them because everyone else is, or because someone told you you should? Find goals that matter to you, that get you excited, and that will have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing.
Make sure your goals have a deadline. Having a deadline will help keep you on track and motivated. It also gives you a time to check back in and reevaluate how you are doing. This is also a great time to set new goals.
One way to do this is to create a new goal every 6 weeks. Then you can check in and reassess on a regular basis. But most importantly, find what works for you.
Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. If you set goals for yourself with these in mind, you’re that much closer to making great progress.
So, what goal are you going to set for yourself? Or what is a goal you already have that you can turn into a SMART goal? Let me know in the comments below.
And, as always, don’t hesitate to get in touch and let me know how I can help you on your journey toward amazing health.
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Currently working out but have some questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve got you covered!