Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Are Your Goals SMART?

This time of year many people are making resolutions and setting goals to accomplish in the upcoming year, though unfortunately these typically fall to the wayside mid-January.  I am not usually one to make New Year's resolutions.  I feel that striving to be a better you is a goal we should work towards all year round!  

Recently I was invited to participate in a Biggest Loser-style health and fitness challenge.  I am still trying to bounce back from having a baby and juggling all sorts of new responsibilities so I figured...why not!?!  Our first challenge is to create three goals that we wish to achieve from the competition.  

Through my education, I have done quite a bit of research and projects on goals.  One of the best methods I have found for creating successful goals is to make them SMART.  SMART is an acronym standing for the key elements that should be included when developing an effective goal: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.  I will break the steps down for you here and provide an example from one of my goals.

My Goal:  Lose 10% of my body weight in 16 weeks through healthy eating habits and regular physical activity.

Specific: Write a clear and detailed description of what you are trying to accomplish and how you plan on achieving your goal.  My goal describes what I am trying to do (lose weight), how much I wish to lose (10% of body weight), and how I plan on doing it (diet and exercise).

Measurable: Make sure your goal is measurable so you can monitor and evaluate your progress along the way.  To assess my progress periodically I am able to measure my body weight and calculate percentages to see how much I am losing.

Attainable:  Create goals that are attainable considering your capabilities and limitations.  My weight loss goal equates to an average of 1 pound per week which is a healthy rate that is attainable with hard work and dedication.
Realistic:  Along the same lines of attainable, keep your goals realistic.  Create goals that you both can and want to achieve.  This goal is realistic based on the amount of weight I want to lose to return to what is a healthy "normal" weight for myself.

Timely:  Set a time frame for yourself to achieve this goal.  Without a deadline there is no definite end to work towards.  My goal specifies exactly when I want to achieve my goal by (withing 16 weeks).

I hope you find this guideline helpful in setting yourself up for success.  Please share your thoughts and experiences with setting goals that work!

DISCLAIMER: The content on this blog, www.mind-bodypursuit.blogspot.com, represents the thoughts, ideas, and experiences of its author and should be taken as such…with a grain of salt.  It is for entertainment purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, or cure.  Before trying any new physical activity, dietary plan, supplementation, complementary and alternative therapy, or other wellness tip please seek the guidance of a qualified professional.

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