Now that we’re quickly approaching March, I figured I’d check in to see how many of us are on track with our New Year’s Resolutions we set not too long ago. What was your resolution? Are you still keeping pace and recording your progress? Many of us quickly give up on these resolutions and do not achieve our goals that we set for the New Year. Why does it seem so easy to neglect these resolutions, just to try again next year?
This is exactly why SMART goals may come in handy. So, what is a SMART goal? SMART is an acronym standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound. This helps to set a specific goal, and it lets you know if you’ve reached your goal. Let’s say your New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight. So, what? What is weight loss? Is it 1 pound? 10 pounds? More? Less? Somewhere in between? Is it fat loss? Water loss? How quickly or slowly do you want to attain this goal? ….I think you get the idea…Setting a SMART goal helps you answer these questions. It helps you track your goals and realize if you have reached them or if you still have work to do.
Here is how to implement SMART goals, whether it be for fitness goals, health goals, or otherwise. Let’s say our goal is “Get stronger.”
S – Specific: Instead of Getting stronger, what do you want to get stronger? Do you want to develop overall strength? Do you want to increase your bench press or your squat? Do you want to be able to do more push-ups? After you land on something a little more specific, move to M, measurable.
M – Measurable: Attach a number to your goal. Numbers are objective. You either hit your numbers or you don’t. When we were discussing getting specific, we wanted to increase the number of push-ups we can do (in this example). Well, how many do we want to do?
A – Attainable: We can’t set a goal of doing 1 million push-ups at once. That’s not a goal that we can hit. Maybe 50 push-ups is more reasonable. The goal has to be attainable. It has to be something that you can succeed at.
R – Realistic: Is 50 push-ups realistic? How many push-ups are we doing now? We want to set goals that we will realistically be able to accomplish given our current situation. Is there enough time in the day to practice to get 50 push-ups at once? If we’re doing 3 push-ups right now, maybe 50 is a stretch. What goals are realistic? What do you realistically see yourself being able to work towards?
Time Bound: Set a time limit on your goals. Again, time is a number, you either hit your goal in that period of time or you don’t. If you don’t, you adjust accordingly. Now, if we were previously doing 3 push-ups and we want to increase the number of push-ups we can do at once to 50, giving ourselves 1 week to hit that goal isn’t feasible. Is 1 month feasible? I don’t know. I do know that would be quite a push. Maybe 3 months would be a little more realistic.
So, after going through the SMART acronym, your goal should look something like this: “I want to be able to increase my push-ups from 3 to 50 in 3 months.” This gives us something to track and something real to work towards. When setting goals, don’t set goals that are unattainable. But, we want something that is challenging. What is your SMART Goal?