You’ve probably heard it before, to the point that it makes your eyes glaze over, but keep reading.
- SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Limited
It’s a mouthful and I totally understand if it seems really complicated. So let me boil it down for you. The 1 thing you should always ask yourself after you’ve decided on a goal for yourself is:
- Do I realistically think it’s possible to do this?
Psychology points out, the more times we don’t do something we said we were going to do, the harder it gets to do things we say we’ll do. You can think of it as the “liar liar” phenomenon. Why? Simply because, when someone keeps lying to you, you stop believing anything that person says. Now replace that “someone” with “you”.
If you don’t trust yourself to answer the “Is it achievable” question, ask someone else for his/her honest opinion.
Say something like…
- Do you think I can cut out added sugar from my diet for a week?
- Can I bring myself to the gym for at least 3 days this week?
- Can I complete a 5K run under 40 minutes by next month?
- For the next month, I’m going to replace any processed food I crave with a natural, unprocessed food.
- I’m going to start cooking my own meal 5 times a week.
It’s not by chance all these goals seem to provide
- Specific details as to what exactly I’ll be doing
- Measurable details as to whether I would be successful or not (i.e. I cooked 5 meals this week, therefore goal accomplished)
- Relevant to weight loss through causation
- Time boxing so it doesn’t feel like I’ll be doing it for eternity
Are you ready to start setting goals?
Okay, begin by setting 1 goal or 2 related goals. You really don’t want to overwhelm yourself with more than 2 to keep track of. Once you’ve achieved success on a goal so many times that the goal no longer feels like a challenge, then it’s time to make a new one. Don’t rush things.
When I look back at the past 4 years of my fitness journey, I’ve succeeded and failed so many times. The times that I did succeed are marked a pivotal decision. Something I’m so proud of and would tell it to anyone that would listen is when I kicked my sweet tooth addiction.
I used to always prefer sweet over any other flavor and I would seek out sweets everyday. My goal was to eliminate any food that had added sugar. It forced me to pay attention to my food and make conscious decisions to swap one unhealthy food with another. I could still eat sweets, as long as they occur naturally in the food. Yes, it was hard in the beginning, but so is trying anything new for the first time. I turned that goal into a habit and it’s just a part of me today. I also found myself not liking anything that is overly sweet. An unexpected outcome was the discovery of good food. Good food should have different flavors and textures.
What fitness goals have you achieved that you’re proud of? If you haven’t, what’s your first SMART goal today?
Thanks for reading and spread the health and wealth!