Setting Goals the SMART Way
Have you decided that it’s time to make a change but aren’t sure how to get started? Or have you already set more goals for yourself than you care to admit-but keep failing to reach them?
It’s time for a new way of thinking.
No matter how big or small your goal-whether it’s losing 5 or 50 kilos, walking a 1 km or running your first marathon-making change requires planning and SMART goal setting.
Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do:
Your goal should be clear and easy to understand.
- A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy.
- How do you want to do it?
- Is it losing weight?
- Be more active?
- Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.
- Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”
A goal to “lose weight” is not enough.
How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number. Another good way of measuring a goal would be by having a full body composition scan. The Evolt 360 not only weighs you, it also measures your lean muscle mass, body fat % and gives you a fitness score. Scans are a great way to measure your successes and stay accountable.
Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go.
It’s good to ‘shoot for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits.
- Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people.
- A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.”
Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now.
Don’t set a goal that someone else is pressuring you to attain-that isn’t very motivating.
- Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you.
Include an end-point.
Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started.
- Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 kilos per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”
Now we have a SMART goal!
With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:
- I will walk 5 days every week for 30 minutes each.
- I will drink water instead of soft drink every day this week.
- I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.
- I will take time out for me and my wellbeing
Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!