When it comes to our health and fitness, we tend to dream about what life would be like if we could just lose more weight, if we could love running like everyone else, or if we we could master the yoga handstands we see on Instagram. How many times have you scrolled through your social media feed to see pictures that inspire you to reach your goals, but then have no idea where to start? Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is the best way to stay on track and know for sure if you are making progress. So, what makes a goal S.M.A.R.T. and how can you revise your own?
They are Specific.
Too often I work with clients and their stated goal may be something like, “I want to tone up”, or “I want to be stronger”. These statements are general and do not allow for you to truly know if you’ve ever reached your goal. What does, “tone up” mean and look like to you? You want to be “stronger” than what or whom? Answering these questions will help you understand your specific end goal.
They are Measurable.
To me, this is one of the most important elements of setting goals. Including this element will allow you to recognize how you are making progress. If your goal is to lose weight, it’s important to set a benchmark. Something that you can measure and then re-measure. “Lose 5 lbs” as opposed to “lose weight” provides a much greater opportunity for positive reinforcement when you step back on the scale.
They are Attainable.
Setting a goal too high most often leads to a loss of motivation. We love feeling successful and we need to be consistently rewarded for our hard work. You may want to set a goal of cooking at home five nights of the week. However, if you have an infant and have just returned to work after leave, this may not be realistic. Starting with a goal of two times a week may allow you to build good habits first before moving on to bigger goals.
They are Relevant.
It is so important to create goals that make sense and fit into your life. Do you really need to “complete 15 pull-ups in one go”? How will achieving that fit into your larger, long-term goal? A new mom who wants to fit back into her pre-baby jeans may find the goal of, “cook 3 healthy meals a week” more relevant to her long-term goal.
They are are Time-bound.
After all of this, it is so important to put some time boundaries on your goal. Set benchmarks by breaking your long-term goal into a few short-term goals. How long are you willing to give yourself to lose 5 lbs? Most people are motivated by deadlines. It puts pressure on us to act and work on what we know we need to achieve.
So what are your wellness goals? How will you revise them to ensure that you stay motivated? Feel free to reach out to me to assist you in creating your goals!