A Guide to Goal Setting
When you set out to do something new you should always have a direction or a goal in mind when you do. This is no different for changing your lifestyle. When you are planning to lose weight and get stronger you should have goals in place so you can measure your progress. This will help keep you from getting frustrated and giving up thinking things are not working.
So how should you write your goals out? It is ok to have one big goal but then you should break that big goal up into smaller manageable goals. This way it does not seem so overwhelming. One of the ways you can do this is by using S.M.A.R.T Goals.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
Specific – Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. Do not make it general like “I want to be healthy.” This needs to be more specific, like “I will lose weight.”
Measurable – This goal needs to be measurable, such as, “I want to lose 5 pounds.” Do not be general here either by just saying “I want to lose weight.”
Attainable – The goal needs to be reasonable so not so high its unachievable but not to low that you are unmotivated to reach the goal. You could look at a percentage of body weight that you would want to lose and place it in this category. Research suggests that an attainable goal is to lose 5-10% of body weight.
Realistic – At this point check your goal here and make sure this is realistic and relevant to you. Make sure this goal is something you want and will be motivated to reach. If it is not relevant to you than now is the time to find what IS relevant to you.
Time-Bound – This is your timeframe or the endpoint in which your goal should be achieved. This will get you motivated that you have a timeframe to complete this in. Losing 1-2 pounds of weight is reasonable so then you can take that and set your goal accordingly. It may take 3 months to get to your end goal but this is where you will determine that based on the information you provide.
A time-bound goal may looking something like this:
- I will drink water instead of soda
- I will eat at home 6 nights a week instead of eating out.
- I will walk for 30 minutes every day.
Visibility of Your Goals:
Once you have all the information determined write out your goals. Share them with friends and family so they can help you keep you accountable. Write them out and put them in front of you.
You can even make a vision board with your goals and hang it up so you see it everyday.
You are now on your way to success!