Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals for 2017

9 Jan

We all start off each New Year with an idea of who we want to be, what we want to do, and generally a vague sense of how we want to accomplish that.  For most of us that means something like “I’m going to be healthier and get in shape!”  While that is an awesome sentiment and one we should always be striving for, there is no real way to quantify it and actually assess our progress and whether or not, at the end of the year, we have achieved that.  I want to help you be successful in reaching that lifestyle objective, so we’ll start off with the SMART model.  Once you have planned your overall objective (be healthier, lose weight, eat better, workout more, etc) turn your attention to developing several goals that will enable you to be successful. Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

smart-goals-2-672x372

That’s a great method – but what does it really look like in action?

  1. Specific. Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. 
    • A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.
    • Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”
  2. Measurable. A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.
  3. Attainable. Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to ‘shoot for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits.
    • Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people.
    • A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.”
  4. Relevant. Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal that someone else is pressuring you to attain-that isn’t very motivating.
    • Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you.
  5. Time-based. Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started.
    • Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”

Now we have a SMART goal! With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:

  • Walk 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • Find an exercise partner in the next three weeks.
  • Buy an exercise journal and record daily workouts.
  • Run a total of 15 miles a week for the next four weeks.
  • Fix your bike and ride it twice a week for the next two months.
  • Take a pilates or cardio class at Pilates X three times a week.
  • Swim three days a week for 30 minutes each workout.
  • Measure your daily caloric intake and record it in your exercise journal for 14 days.
  • Complete a fitness assessment/challenge in the next 30 days.

Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!  See you at the Studio!

~Dayna
PX Studio


Article Sources

American Council on Exercise (www.acefitness.org)
Active (www.active.com)
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