Setting Health & Fitness Goals
In order to attain the best results possible in your health and fitness endeavors, you must set goals. I don’t mean just thinking about how you want to look or what you want to be able to do physically. A goal is a well thought out and written plan that outlines what you are going to achieve and what you are going to do to make it happen. There is a saying, “ if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” and that is true to a certain degree. If you don’t make any definite plans and commit to them on paper and revisit them EVERY day, you certainly won’t achieve the best results possible. You may not fail, but chances are you will fall short of the ideal image you have floating around in your mind. In order to get optimum results, you must set S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. Let’s take a look at each one of these:
Specific – Be specific about what you want! If you wanted to buy a house, you would never contact a realtor and tell them to find you just any old house in any old neighborhood. No, you would have a list of specific “must haves” that you want them to help you find. It should be the same for the body in which you live! If you don’t want to live in just any old body, you can’t leave your results to chance. Maybe you need to lose weight. If you want to live in your best possible body, you wouldn’t say, “I just want to lose some weight.” You would decide on a specific amount of weight that you want to lose. That leads us to the next characteristic of a proper goal, and that is that it must be…
Measurable – By saying you want to lose “some” weight, you have not been clear about exactly what you want. “Some” is not really measurable. 1 pound is some; do you just want to lose 1 pound? How about 2 pounds? You see where I’m going with this. Decide exactly how much weight you are going to lose, and write it down. Now you are ready to make your goal even more specific by deciding how long you plan on taking to achieve it. That leads us to the next characteristic of a well defined goal which is….
Attainable – Almost any goal is attainable as long as you are realistic with your time frame. For instance, you may need to lose fifty pounds. That is certainly attainable, but you would not set a goal of losing that amount in one month. You would give yourself several months to do it and possibly break it up into smaller goals along the way in order to keep yourself motivated by celebrating as you reach each milestone along the way. Next, we will talk about why you want to lose weight. Why is it……
Relevant? Why is losing weight important to you? Why am I even asking you this question? Because your answer to this question will determine your level of commitment to your goal. I am asking you this question because this is what will keep you moving toward your goal EVERY day, day in and day out, regardless of whatever else is going on in your life. The answer to this question is of utmost importance because LIFE HAPPENS!!! You are going to be tired, have to work late, be asked to do other things that conflict with gym time, be tempted to cheat on your diet……EVERY day. This list could go on and on. Your answer as to why your goal is relevant is going to have to be so important and so near and dear to your heart that it trumps anything that might distract you from it. Lastly, your goal must be…..
Time bound – Get with a trainer, or do some research on your own, to find out what would be a reasonable amount of time in which to achieve your weight loss goal. Once you have this final piece of information, you are almost ready to get going and achieve your weight loss goals. Almost, you say? Seriously, how much more is there?
I’m glad you asked. You wrote down how much you wanted to lose. Now I need you to add to that by writing down how long you plan on taking to lose the weight. Write it on several post-it notes and place it in several places – bedside table, bathroom mirror, your car, your desk at work, your refrigerator, your gym bag. Read it out loud to yourself every day, and tell as many people as you can about your goal to enlist their support and deepen your commitment.
You can do this! I want to hear from you. Send me an e-mail or stop me in the gym and tell me what your S.M.A.R.T. goal is. I want to be on your support team. Remember that once you COMMIT to change, CHALLENGE mind and body, and CREATE a new paradigm, you can CONQUER anything!
ACE Certified Personal Trainer