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How To Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

Honestly, most people do set goals, especially on New Year’s Eve. These are called New Year resolutions. However, setting a goal and reaching it requires commitment, consistency, and fortitude to stay on track until you reach the goal destination.

Honestly, most people do set goals, especially on New Year’s Eve. These are called New Year resolutions. However, setting a goal and reaching it requires commitment, consistency, and fortitude to stay on track until you reach the goal destination.

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible." - Tony Robbins

Let’s talk more about what SMART goals are and how to apply them.

What is a SMART Goal?

SMART is an acronym that is used to define the 5 qualities of effective goal setting:

* S - Specific

* M - Measurable

* A - Achievable

* R - Relevant

* T - Time-bound

Let’s deep dive!

* Specific

When setting a SMART goal, the first point to note is that it has to be specific. For example, if you desire to lose a few a pounds, setting a goal like, I want to lose weight, is a valiant yet incorrect goal. Be more specific! How much weight do you want to lose? 1 pound? 40 pounds?

A goal such as, I wish to lose 40 pounds is specific. Excellent, but we are only getting started.

* Measurable

How will you measure the success of your progress? Is there a way you can measure your progress in the above example? Of course, there is. You can weigh yourself on a weighing scale or use a measuring tape to see if the inches have come off. There must be a way to measure your progress.

If you have a goal of getting fit, how will you measure it? How will you even know?

Setting a measurable goal will help. If you run a mile in 7 minutes, setting a goal of running a mile in 6 minutes will be measurable and of course, you’ll need to be fitter to pull it off. So, always ensure that you can measure your progress. Next....

* Achievable

This is a tricky factor because there’s so much talk about thinking big and setting BIG goals. Aiming to be the best is a good thing, but you have to be realistic. If you’re 40 pounds over your desired weight, your goal of winning a professional bodybuilder in 6 months is NOT achievable. It may sound good; however, the probability is higher that this goal is unachievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure, thus becoming demotivated and giving up!

The first step will be to lose all your excess fat. That should be your initial goal. Shelve the bodybuilding ambitions for now. Once the weight has come off, now you can set a goal of gaining 10-15 pounds of muscle. Once that is done, you can move on to the next step and so on. In the short term, set achievable goals that won’t overwhelm you.

* Relevance

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you need to. It’s imperative to ask yourself if your goal is something you truly want. Far too often, people set goals just because they’re influenced by what other people have, say, or do. For example, if you’re influenced by the lifestyle photos that some millionaire is constantly posting on Instagram, your goal might be to become a millionaire. But is that what you want? Most people would be more than happy earning 50 thousand more a year than they currently are. The sacrifices required to make a million dollars may be too much for them to bear and why should they, if they’ll be perfectly happy earning $150,000 a year?

So, ask yourself what you REALLY want..., and if your goal is something that is important to you and aligns with your values.

* Time-bound

Your goal needs a deadline so that it lends impetus to your endeavor. Realistically, keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day, however in order to reach the intended goal, bricks were more than likely, laid every hour. Following the example above regarding weight loss, if you wish to lose 40 pounds, most weight loss books will tell you that losing 1-2 pounds a week is healthy.

That means it will take you about 10 to 20 weeks to shed all 40 pounds. This is a realistic time frame. In fact, it will usually take longer because your body needs time to adapt, and you may hit a plateau.

What if you set a goal to lose all 40 pounds in 4 weeks? This will be a very unrealistic time frame. No matter how hard you exercise or starve yourself, achieving this goal is highly unlikely, and even if you do, it will not be healthy or sustainable. You’d be better off setting a more reasonable deadline. If you still have not met your goal by the deadline, don’t panic or feel discouraged. This is normal. Worthy endeavors always take longer than you expect.

Move the deadline by another month or a few more months depending on the goal and keep moving ahead without losing steam. That’s how you achieve your goals.

Now that you’re aware of the SMART way of setting goals, evaluate your current goals and see if they meet these criteria. Once you have your SMART goals set, look at them daily (and write them down daily) to sear them into your mind so that you’re always acting in accordance and alignment with them until you achieve your goals.

Stay the course - don’t give up - you got this!!!

-Coach Jo!

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