It’s that time once again. When fitness resolutions are made and broken almost in the same breath. Studies show that only 8% of people that create resolutions achieve them. How do we change the odds in our favor so that we can have the health, fitness, and body that we want? We create goals not resolutions.
S-M-A-R-T-S is an acronym used to help in setting and achieving goals, whether they are about losing weight, getting healthier, or achieving some other type of goal.
How many times have you said, “This is my year. No more cookies. Only Brussel sprouts and kale for me!”
Having vague unrealistic “resolutions” or hopes only leads to inevitable failure. So here we go. Let’s use our SMARTS to create goals that can help us achieve the things we want in life without setting ourselves up for disappointment.
“S” is for Specific. The more specific the goal is the more likely we are to find success. Statements like I want to eat better, exercise more, lose weight are great places to start. Defining what “eat better” means is important. Is it adding one serving of vegetables per day? Is it reducing soft drinks to once per day? Specificity of the goal leads to success and our next letter in the acronym “M”.
“M” is for MEASURABLE. A specific goal can be measured. Today you weigh 175 and your goal is 165. Removing 500 calories per day is measurable. We learn new skills and behaviors when we measure and track progress. We can measure and track calories consumed. “Eating better” is not measurable.
“A” Actionable plan of action. Not many people follow a system of success. Individuals that do create a plan or system have significantly greater success. Especially when the system or plan is based on “process goals”. A process goal would be meal prepping to ensure that we reduced calorie intake by 500 calories per day. Setting an alarm 45 minutes earlier per day to make time for working out is another example.
“R” is for Realistic. Losing 10 pounds in a week may be specific and measurable, but it’s not attainable, unless you are doing something dangerous and unhealthy. The caveat here is that the goal must also be challenging. If you are not challenged enough, there is no struggle. No struggle means no new behaviors or patterns leading to greater success. Overcoming a challenge is empowering and rewarding beyond the “participation trophy.”
“T” is for Time bound. Setting a timeline to measure and assess progress, allows us to celebrate our wins and adjust for setbacks. Having both long and short-term goals built into the timeline is key. For example, a goal of a 50-pound weight loss in one-year, you should have a weekly goal of a one-pound loss. Many people looking to lose large amounts of weight only focus on the end result. When they see the scale moving slowly, the way it is supposed to progress by the way, it can be quite discouraging and lead to quitting.
“S” is for SELF DETERMINED. Think for a second how important this distinction is. Many of my clients have told me that their doctor said they need to lose weight, or their spouse wants them to get in shape. Rarely do they accomplish their goal when someone else chose it for them. You need to be part of the decision-making process. You must discover your true reason, your “why”. Otherwise, when you invariably hit a stumbling block or setback you may not have the ability to push through.
In 2021, Focus on Controlling What You Can Control
Using your SMARTS when setting and achieving your goals puts attention on behaviors and patterns of success and not solely on the outcomes.
Behaviors are what lead to wins. They are also actions and thoughts that we can control. As your personal coach, I help you to determine the goals, develop a plan, measure success, teach new skills and celebrate victories, large or small.
Remember that you are worth the effort. Use your SMARTS and reach-out to get started with me COACH PAPI G’s FUN FIT online private training.