How You Can Set Achievable Goals
With the New Year approaching, many of you are thinking and talking about those famous, “New Year Resolutions.” Whether you are trying to lose fat, gain muscle, improve performance, or just feel better overall, it’s important to set your goals accordingly. Always make sure your goal is SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Let’s break this down.
Specific – Setting specific goals is important. Saying, “I want to lose weight” doesn’t help you define what exactly to do. This makes it easier to fall off the bandwagon. Do you want to lose 5 lbs? or 25lbs? Don’t tell me you want to deadlift a heavy weight by the end of the year. How MUCH do you want to deadlift by the end of the year? No matter what your goal is, you should make it as specific as possible!
Measurable – Make sure you can measure your progress. If weight loss is your goal, make a decision on how you will track it. Will you track pounds lost each week? Every 2 weeks? Each Month?
Attainable – Set goals that you know are realistic for you to achieve!!! Don’t say you want to lose 50lbs in one month. Not real people. Setting attainable goals will help you feel good about yourself when you achieve them. Setting unrealistic goals will only frustrate you and deter you from continuing progress.
Relevant – Your goals are for you. Remember this. Don’t set something that someone else is pressuring you to do. It needs to be relevant to your lifestyle and what YOU want. Choose something that will motivate you, something you are inspired to do.
Time-Bound – Always, always, ALWAYS set a time frame. I always tell people to set short term AND long term goals. Many times people have goals that take a long time to achieve. It can be very challenging and intimidating to look at those long term numbers. Therefore, you should always give yourself some stepping stones to reach along the way. For example: If your goal is to lose 50lbs over the year, set yourself a monthly goal that will keep you accountable to attaining that. Fifty pounds divided by 12 months equals right around four pounds a month, or one pound per week depending on how you want to measure your goal. Give yourself something to achieve and be proud of.
Now that you’ve set yourself some SMART goals, develop a plan to achieve them and remain consistent with it. Consistency is key!! Getting off track happens. We are all human and can’t always be perfect. Focus on progress, not perfection. If you fall off for a day or two, or even a week… get back on as quickly as possible. Remember that you will most likely hit plateaus. Whether this is weight loss, skill oriented, or strength related, it’s normal to see drastic changes at first and then maybe none at all for a little. Part of your plan is finding ways to bust through these plateaus.
No matter what your plan is. Spend some time writing them down. Ask a fitness professional to help you with your health and fitness goals. Develop a plan and find people to hold you accountable. Share your goals with friends and loved ones. This makes your goal “real” rather than just and “idea.” Surround yourself with these people! Not only for accountability, but they will help motivate you and encourage you along the way.