Now that we’re a couple of weeks into January, how many of you have stuck to your new year’s resolution? Unfortunately, client’s and people trying to lose weight or get fitter or stronger are always too generic with their goal settings
The SMART principle is a great way to stay on track and to keep commitment levels high. As much as it’s viewed as a positive thing to aim as high as possible, my opinion is that small, clear goal setting, for most people, wins in the end.
S – Specific – the more specific you are about your goals, the easier it is to create a game plan, as I said earlier, being too generalised with what you want is not going to give you something to focus on. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. For example, you may start off by setting a weight loss target of 2lbs a week as opposed to saying I want to lose 2 stone by April.
M- Measurable – measuring progress makes it easier to stay on track, and hit target dates set, knowing where you’re at, where you want to be and having a game plan for how you are going to achieve it. Using measurements such a weight or cm allows you to do this.
A – Achievable – there’s nothing wrong with setting your goals high or wanting to be the best you can be, but if you set the bar to high or far away then there’s a higher chance you will become demotivated and throw the towel in. For example, you want to run a 5k race in 3 months and the fastest time you have ever run is 30 minutes. Aim to shave off 15-30 seconds from your time each week rather than to say I want to run my 5k race in 3 months in 20 minutes. Reassess your goals each week, setting yourself a new goal each time. If you hit your goal…treat yourself. This will keep your motivation high.
R – Realistic – set goals that you can realistically stick to, ask yourself how much time you are willing to put aside to cooking or preparing food, or how many times a week you can commit to training. What do you think you can realistically achieve?
T – Time – set a time frame or date for your goals. Just saying my goal is to one day be 10% body fat is not giving you any period of time to work towards and doesn’t give you enough reason to not cheat on your diet or skip a training session. Set specific days for weigh ins or body fat checking or whatever it is your goal is…remember your calendar or diary can be your best friend when starting a fitness journey. Schedule in your training days and time…If they’re in the diary, you will be less likely to skip them of schedule in other activities.
By following the SMART goal setting template you will be more likely to achieve your ultimate goal, whether it be to fit into a dress or suit, or to feel more confident for a special event that you have coming up. The importance of setting goals in weight loss and fitness is critical for success! When goals seem too large or unachievable it is human nature to feel despondent or demotivated, but by hitting clear, measurable goals we are able to stay on track, stay motivated and achieve our objectives.