Most people, when asked what they want to achieve in terms of health and fitness, say things such as “get in shape”, “get fit” or “get toned”
Now, don’t get me wrong, these are great goals. But in order for you to be able to achieve them, you need to be SMART about it otherwise you are just setting yourself up for failure.
SPECIFIC – Your goals should be specific i.e. I want to be able to run 5km in under 30 minutes. Making this specific gives you a target to work towards.
MEASURABLE – A specific goal can then be measured. In using the above goal, there is a definite measurement so you know when you’ve completed 5km in 30 minutes that you’ve achieve it and you can adjust and create new goals.
ATTAINABLE - While the goal has to make you work to achieve it, it should not be so far out of your reach that you set yourself up to never be able to achieve it.
RELEVANT/ REALISTIC – How does the goal tie into your work and life in the present situation, how will it improve your current situation.
TIMELY – You need to set a defined time frame in which you are going to achieve the goal. E.g. “I want to be able to run 5km in under 30 minutes in 3 months time”
And lastly in terms of setting goals I heard a great analogy for setting goals “Don’t set goals that a dead person could beat you at”. In other words don’t have a goal “I’m never going to smoke again” – a dead person has a 100% chance of never smoking again as they physically cannot. Where as you have a 99.9% chance of never smoking again as there is always that chance that you can relapse. So from the get go they’ve already beat you. Instead a better goal would be “instead of smoking in my lunch break I will go for a 10 minute walk.” So every time you’re goal setting, stop and think could a dead person beat me at this and if they could, it needs to be adjusted.