How to Make SMART Goals
Unattainable goals only set you up for failure. Below, we'll explain what "SMART goals" are, and how they can lead to long term success in health and fitness.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
Specific - Making a specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the four “W” questions:
*Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*When: When will I meet this goal?.
*Why: Why am I accomplishing this goal?
Example: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a SMART goal would say, “In 30 days, I will be stronger and have more energy because I have performed a combination of strength and cardio exercises for at least 30 minutes a day six days a week
Measurable - Establish a measurement so you will know if you accomplished your goal. In this example: 30 minutes a day six days a week
Attainable – You can attain most any goal you set when you plan wisely and establish a realistic time frame. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must be something you are willing and able to accomplish. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
A higher or loftier goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.
You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.
Timely - A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. You need to anchor it within a time frame – as per our example “in 30 days by July 15th ”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.