Make Your Goals SMART!
It’s a New Year! That means, new goals! I LOVE setting goals. Honestly, I enjoy drawing out my goals and planning how I will accomplish them. I haven’t always been this way because I haven’t always known how to make my goals SMART. Now, goal setting is FUN for me!
So what are SMART goals anyway? I’ll be glad to tell you.
SPECIFIC. I wouldn’t hesitate to declare this as the most important piece to the goal puzzle. You should consider asking those basic questions; the five W’s (and of course the H). To make your goal specific you will determine the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW of the goal. So in 2014 my goal is not to “become a runner” but instead it is “I want to be in physical shape to run a half-marathon by March 2nd, 2014 in Texas because I have not yet run that distance before. I will design and follow a running program that will help me to train for this race starting 10 weeks before the said date”.
MEASUREABLE. In order to really motivate yourself, you should set a deadline. Most New Year’s Resolutions deadlines are “by December 31st”, but why wait so long? I don’t want to run a half-marathon by the end of year, I want to run it by March 2nd! Or maybe I don’t want to lose body fat, but instead “I want to lose 5% body fat by my birthday (November 2nd) because I want to feel and look better than I ever have at the green age of 28. I will do this by monitoring my nutrition and altering my exercise routines accordingly”. Now there’s a goal that can be measured!
ATTAINABLE. Okay, so now you have a specific, measureable goal, right? Right. You should make sure it is attainable. Can this goal safely be reached in the time you’ve specified? You don’t want to set yourself up for failure so it is important to be logical. If your goal is to lose 5% body fat, hopefully you’re not trying to do that in 30 days. Let’s revisit my goal: “I want to lose 5% body fat by my birthday (November 2nd) because I want to feel and look better than I ever have at the green age of 28”. This goal is very attainable. If I properly monitor my nutrition, maintain intense exercise routines, then I should be able to meet this goal within 10 months.
REALISTIC. Now this can be much like ATTAINABLE. Is your goal realistic? Is it realistic for me to lose 5% body fat by November 2nd? Well, it is. Right now I am about 30% body fat, which is much higher than I want to be. I have been hovering in this 30-32% range for over a year now. I’m fit and I’m healthy, but I want to be leaner. If I were starting around 15% body fat, this goal would not be so REALISTIC.
TIMELY. Finally, you want to make sure that you goal is set with an appropriate deadline. Running a half-marathon within the first quarter of the year may not seem timely for some people. I have been running for a couple of years now and am probably in shape enough to run a half-marathon today if I had to. I’d be WORN OUT by the end, but I’m used to running 6 or more miles fairly regularly. The longer runs are going to be challenging, but doable within the time frame I’ve allotted.
Putting this all together now, here is an example of a SMART goal:
“I want to practice Yoga at least once per week in my home or at my gym every week throughout 2014 because it enhances recovery from an intense workout regimen and relaxes my mind. I will allow up to 7 missed sessions, making my target number of sessions 45. I will accomplish this goal by scheduling yoga into my current exercise routine weekly.
Now that YOU also know how to make your goals SMART, I’m sure that you will enjoy planning them out just as much as I do! I can’t wait to share with you some of my 2014 goals. Can you guess what one or two of them are?
What are some of YOUR goals for 2014?