Sunday, December 18, 2011

Getting To Your Goals Takes Some S.M.A.R.T.s

Looking to get fit? Great to hear it.

First things first though. There's definitely a hierarchy of steps to take before you actually get out there and start working out.

Set some goals. Want to lose weight? Run faster? Leap higher? Build muscle? What's your personal goal?

Once you have that 'general' goal decided, now the question becomes: How best to go about defining them and making sure your goals are actually achievable and not just some 'pie in the sky' hope or wish?

You can make it super complicated … or you can make things really easy on yourself and use the goal setting principals of "S.M.A.R.T"

Using the principals of "S.M.A.R.T" will also ensure that you are setting the RIGHT goals, goals you can reach, and goals that are right for you as an individual.

So, what does "S.M.A.R.T." stand for?

S = Specific
M = Measureable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Time Sensitive

Let's attack one of these at a time …

S = Specific

Specific means you must specify exactly what your goals are. It's not enough to say "I want to be fit" or "I want to lose weight" or "I want to run fast". How fit IS "fit"? How MUCH weight do you want to lose? How fast IS "fast"?

To make your goals specific make sure you make goals like "I want to be able to bench press 200 lbs" or "I want to lose 20 lbs of body fat" or "I want to run 5 miles in 30 minutes".

So get specific. Know specifically what you're hoping to achieve and make that your goal.

M = Measureable

Ok, now you know specifically what your goals are. Are they goals that you can measure?

Keep track of how much you're bench pressing or how fast you are running each time you work out so that you can work towards progressing (instead of just guessing at whether or not you are progressing).

Or if weight loss is your goal, keep track of your body fat measurements with the scale, calipers, measuring tape and mirror. No guessing. Keep track and measure, measure, measure.

A = Attainable

Is your goal attainable?

Be careful with this one because if your goal is too lofty, then not being able to make it to your goal could leave you feeling like you're letting yourself down.

But, setting too easy a goal is also counterproductive. If the goal is TOO attainable then what's the point of bothering with all this goal-setting?

Don't set a goal of wanting to run 5 miles in 30 minutes if you're already doing it in 32 minutes. Or bench pressing 200 lbs if you're already up to 195lbs.

Make sure the goal you set for yourself will make you feel fulfilled and accomplished once you do reach it.

R = Realistic

Is your goal actually realistic? Now that you've got your eye on setting a goal that's far enough out of reach to make you feel accomplished when you reach it, ask yourself if you got carried away with that goal.

Is your goal to bench press 1,000 lbs? Or run a 2 minute mile? Well, are these goals actually something you can attain or is this goal more than likely impossible to ever reach?

Make sure your goals are realistic for you.

T = Time Sensitive

And finally, make sure you set a time-limit (a specific, attainable and realistic one) to get to your goals.

If you don't assign a deadline for getting to your goal you might wind up getting there … someday … or not … there's really no sense of urgency if you don't assign a deadline.

Do remember to keep it realistic though. Don't plan to lose 20 lbs in three days. That's not likely to happen. Losing 20 lbs in three months, however… that is a realistic goal.

Know when you want to get to this goal by and keep measuring and working towards getting to your goal in the amount of time you set for yourself.

You can even set smaller weekly goals (like losing 2 lbs per week, for instance) to help you get to your three month goal.

If you keep the principals of "S.M.A.R.T." in mind as you set your goals you're sure to set goals that are right for you, reachable, will make you feel great when you reach them and get you there when you want to be there.





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