The first thing that comes to mind this time of the year is staying up until midnight, eating all kind of delicious snacks and having a few drinks with family and friends; however, this is also the time of year we start to make plans for the next year.
2018 is upon us and it is time to think about what you plan to accomplish this year. For many of us that means some type of a fitness/weight loss goal. These goals tend to look/sound something like this:
1) Lose 20 pounds
2) Run a 10k
3) Be able to lift more weight
4) Put on muscle mass
Each one of these are great things to accomplish; however these statements are just the start. They are statements not goals. You may be wondering why they are not goals….well that is because these statements do not meet the criteria to be considered a goal. So what are the criteria?
The most common way of establishing a quality goal by using the S.M.A.R.T method.
S.M.A.R.T. Stands for
S - Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time Bound
So how do you use the S.M.A.R.T. Method? We will use the first statement from above to walk through the process.
Specific – What do you want to accomplish? Ask yourself who and what.
I want to lose 20 pounds – tells me specifically what is to be accomplished and who is to do it.
Measurable – How will you know you reached the goal? Can you track the progress and measure the outcome?
I want to lose 20 Pounds – Yes I can clearly track the progress and I know exactly when I have reached the goal.
Achievable – Is the goal within your power to accomplish? How so?
I want to lose 20 Pounds – yes it is a goal that is within my power to accomplish because I can change my eating habits and exercise more.
Realistic – Can you realistically reach the goal?
I want to lose 20 Pounds – yes I can because the doctor wants me to lose 20 Pounds so this is an amount of weight that is realistic
Time Bound – When exactly do you want to accomplish this goal?
I want to lose 20 Pounds – Does not have a time frame. A goal without a time frame is just a dream. Take action and apply a time frame.
A safe and sustainable weight loss goal is 1-2 pounds per week. This example means a good time frame would be 13-14 weeks. Which if we start at the beginning of the year means April 9th 2018 is the date we are looking for
So we put all of the pieces together to get the following goal:
I want to lose 20 pounds by April 9th 2018 by creating healthy eating habits and exercising 3-5 times per week for 45-60 minutes.
This is a very specific goal that is measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound and is a great way to get your 2018 off to a great start!
Take some time this weekend and walk through the S.M.A.R.T. Method to create your 2018 fitness or weight loss goal.