Today’s post is all about setting goals and sticking to them! In order to be successful, you need to have a solid foundation to build upon. Before you get in a rush to write out all of your goals, ask yourself if you’re ready for this journey. If not, that’s OK. When you are truly ready to change, it will be apparent and setting/obtaining your goals will be the only option for you instead of something you view as a burden.
When you decide that you’re ready to give it all you’ve got, it’s time to start writing. When setting goals, we want to be smart…both literally and figuratively. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time based.
Having broad goals like, “I want to lose weight” aren’t going to cut it. Loosely worded goals might motivate you to get started, but you lose sight of what you’re working for down the road. Having a goal of losing 10 pounds in a specific amount of weeks sets the foundation for mapping out your plan to actually obtain your goal. Think about what you want to accomplish: weight loss, increase in muscle mass, or maybe you just want to jump start a new healthy lifestyle. Now, take that general idea and break it down until you have your specific goals written out.
The next step is to make sure your goals are measurable. If your goal is to eat healthier 3 days out of the week, how do you plan on measuring it? What’s your definition of healthy? How will you determine if you’re meeting the goal or not? The dreaded scale has been a popular tool of measurement when it comes to health/fitness goals for many people. If you’re trying to lose or gain weight, try a different tool of measurement like a measuring tape, weekly progress photos, or a DEXA scan (or something of that nature if it’s available to you). There’s nothing wrong with using a scale, but we make measurements to keep track of progress towards our goals in a positive way. Don’t let this become a daily obsession.
ATTAINABLE & REALISTIC
I blend these two together because they go hand in hand. When setting your goals, choose things that are possible to achieve. Yes, you want to challenge yourself, but stetting a goal to lift 300 pounds by the new year when you’ve never touched a weight in your life is simply unreasonable. Setting goals that are far beyond being attainable and/or realistic can lead to unhealthy habits, obsession, stress, and ultimately a feeling of defeat. Be mindful of the pressure you put yourself under. Set goals that are appropriate for YOU and not someone you idolize on social media. This is about becoming a better version of yourself, and you can only do that when you set positive goals and expectations.
Give your goals a time frame. Instead of leaving things open-ended, have a set number of weeks or months in which you want to obtain your goals. This should motivate you to stay on track. If you have an extended goal, have check points along the way with short term goals to meet. This helps with focus and re-centering yourself to remember why you started and where you want to be in the future.
Now it’s time for you to do the work. Sit down and write out your SMART goals. Make sure they’re appropriate for you and your specific needs. Create a schedule. Review and amend things as necessary. As you grow and change as an individual, your goals will too. Believe in yourself, and work your plan!