One of the most well-known goal setting techniques is SMART. The acronym encourages us to make goals that are more Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
Here are five techniques to SMART goal setting:
S = SPECIFIC
Each goal needs to be defined clearly. Instead of saying “I want to lose weight” which is rather ambiguous, state you will lose ten pounds over the next three months in increments of one to two pounds per week.
M = MEASURABLE
You need to measure your progress. For example, if you say “I want to get in shape” it provides you with no method to measure your progress to the goal. The goal must be measurable. Start by measuring your current level of fitness, then determine a three-month target. For example, say you already take one fitness class per week; the measurable three-month goal may be that by the end of the three months you will be taking three to four fitness classes per week.
A = ATTAINABLE
You have to know how much you want to achieve your goal. It can be a number or a percentage. It also needs to be realistic and motivational. Don’t make it too easy or too extreme. You know your true limits. For example, with the weight loss goal, ten pounds of weight loss is achievable. The goal may be structured as such, “I will lose ten pounds at a rate of one to two pounds per week.”
R = REALISTIC
Does the goal seem realistic to you? If you are not concerned about weight loss or it is not a good time in your life to focus on that, perhaps focus on getting that extra fitness class in every week because it is something you can do and want to do.
T = TIMELY
Make sure each goal has a specific timeline for completion. You can then determine if it has been accomplished. It increases the likelihood you will accomplish the goal.
When you are specific about what you want and set realistic goals, you are more likely to achieve what you are after. Establishing specific goals will help you to define the steps you need to accomplish them. Measuring and tracking your goals will show you how much progress you are making along the way. And, adjusting your goals where needed will keep you motivated and keep your goals attainable and realistic.
Need help? Book a Health & Wellness Assessment with one of our fitness professionals! We will consult with you on your goals, past fitness history, medical concerns and physical limitations. And together, we will create a plan focusing on SMART goals.