Setting SMART Goals
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Once again, the time has come for New Year’s resolutions and very common goals such as exercising more, losing weight, and getting healthier. Now that we are well into the New Year, some may be struggling with keeping on track with their goal. Here are a few ways to check in with yourself to keep you on track or to get back on track.
SMART goals are not just a clever title but an acronym to make goals successful:
S – Specific
Goals should not be vague like “I want to exercise more.” Being specific will help focus the goal so you know what you are trying to achieve.
Example: “I want to lose 5 pounds.”
M – Measurable
There should be some way to measure your goal. If not, there isn’t a clear way to track your progress.
Example: Fitness tests are a great way to track your progress and know your starting point.
A – Action Based
Your goal needs to have specific action that can be taken to help you reach your goal.
Example: “I will go The YMCA on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and exercise on the elliptical for 20 minutes.”
R – Realistic
You want to make your goal realistic to set yourself up for success, not failure. Make sure it’s something you can physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally achieve.
Example: “I’m going to lose 7 pounds in a month.”
T – Time Constrained
Your goal must have a deadline to complete and achieve it by. The deadline gives you accountability to stay on track. Yes, slipups happen, but the deadline will help you focus to get back on track.
One of the biggest challenges to goals is making time for them. Scheduling them into your calendar is a great reminder that you have to take time for yourself. Research shows that writing or entering information makes you more likely to remember it. Be prepared and pack your workout bag ahead of time so it’s ready to go. Plan time for your goal when it’s most convenient and when works for you. If you are not a morning person, don’t try to start a new habit by getting up early and exercising. Start off on the right path by sticking to one goal/habit at a time.
A great way to keep yourself on track is to have someone help you stay accountable. Make your goal aware to others, especially your main support system so they can help you stay the path and share in your success. You can help them stay accountable with their goal and visa-versa.
As always, if you get off track, you can always get back on. Remind yourself that setbacks are normal so acknowledge your obstacles, don’t harp on the past, and start again. Reward yourself for successes along the way and remember your “why” for your goal. If you’re looking for more accountability or help with your goals, the Personal Training Staff at The YMCA is here to help! Browse our bios online and schedule a free consultation.
Cassie Kupsky Certified Personal Trainer/Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Greater Green Bay YMCA