SMART Goals for Your New Years Resolution
Near the end of December, most people think about what the upcoming year will bring and what they want to achieve. Setting New Years resolutions should be more than thinking about what you should do, and more about what you will do in 2011. Health and fitness related resolutions are among the top for most goal-setters. I want to make sure that your 2011 resolutions will come true!
The SMART goal setting system is one that can be applied to many situations. Here, we will use it to build our 2011 New Years Resolution(s).
Specific – we must make sure that our goals are as specific as possible, as this makes them easier to visualize. An example of a specific goal is, “I want to lose 5 pounds of fat mass”, as opposed to, “I want to lose weight”. We can visualize 5 pounds of fat, and we can imagine our body after the loss of that mass.
Measurable – to be able to measure our goals is to know that we have achieved what we expected of ourselves. This is similar to specific, as we need to explain our goal and describe how it will be measured. An example of a measurable goal is, “I will be able to complete 20 consecutive push-ups from my toes”.
Attainable – we want to make sure that our goal is within our reach. To make an attainable goal, we need to assess our life, how much time and money we can devote to exercise and healthy eating, and how these factors will affect our end result. An example of an attainable goal is, “I will make a commitment to complete a high-intensity workout of minimum 15 minutes, after my kids are in bed, at least 4 days a week”. If we find a way to make fitness a part of our everyday life, and learn where to fit it in, we will be more successful.
Realistic – much like the attainable portion of our goal, we need to make sure that we are being realistic with ourselves. If weight loss is your goal, we need to assess what might be a safe and realistic goal, in the desired amount of time. Often, a professional should be consulted during this decision-process. An example of a realistic goal is, “I will lose __ pound(s) per week, until my goal weight of __ is lost”. This keeps us on track during the entire process. We need to learn that health and fitness is a journey; we are not only concerned with the final destination, but everything that was done to get there.
Time Oriented – this is a huge part of goal setting that is often overlooked. If we do not assign a time frame to our goals, we always think, “we will get around it”. If your boss never gave you deadlines for assignments, would you be as productive in finishing them? Same applies to your fitness. As soon as we have an end date in mind, we are able to break down our time to realize what needs to be done this month, this week, and today. A time oriented goal is, “I will run a 5km race in June”.
A potential goal that follows the SMART system is,
“I will complete 20 consecutive push-ups from my toes by April 1, 2011”.
Other tips for 2011 fitness goal setting:
- Complete a fitness test. Many books, magazine, articles, and online sources provide fitness tests. This will give you a baseline for yourself and will help you set realistic and attainable goals.
- Keep a journal. Write down what you did each day, or week, to work towards your specific goals.
- Tell people. Verbalization of goals makes us accountable to complete them and less likely to make excuses. Talk with your spouse, co-worker, or workout partner about your goals, how you will measure your progress, and what you will do to achieve them.
- No more excuses!! Find exercise that works for you and with your schedule. Every little bit will make you more active and have a healthier 2011!
Work hard and your efforts will pay off!