Over the past 10 years, I have heard my clients, friends and family consistently talking about their New Year's Resolutions. Often enough, they find themselves fall short on these goals a few months into the year - if that long. If you are one of these people, you may want to take a different approach this time around.
Typically, I write these types of posts in January, as that seemed to be the best time to help people set their goals. This year I am thinking differently, as should you.
November is already upon us; gym attendance is decreasing and the holiday feasts are beginning but that doesn't mean it should halt your goals. Since I always recommend making small changes, tis the season to continue staying on track and not letting the holidays continue to be an excuse to be a glutton the next month or so.
With that being said, I will be releasing a 3 part series each week to help you prepare for a successful 2017.
DO YOU EVEN HAVE A GOAL, BRO?
You want to be healthier, you say? Want to lose weight? Want to be more toned, or have more muscle mass.
Having a general goal, like above is a good thing to have - but it's not enough. Goals should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This allows you to have a plan to follow - a road map so to speak that let’s you move towards your goals. Without this plan, we never know if we are moving forward, staying still, or even moving in the wrong direction.
How To Create a SMART Goal.
1) Create a Specific Goal
Don’t just say, “I want to be healthier”. Ask yourself, what does being healthy actually mean? Define healthy in your own terms and it will help give you more insight onto how you can achieve that goal.
My definition of health for me is:
- Not being overweight.
- Strong enough to face any demand I want to throw at my body.
- Be pain free, and move efficiently enough to enjoy the things I want to do.
- Feeling comfortable in my own skin.
- Reduce the frequency I need to depend on health care and medication.
Leave your definition in the comments section below. Would love to hear what you have to say.
2) Make Your Goals Measurable
If you do not have a way to measure your goals, you will never know if you are making progress. Don’t just tell me you want to lose weight, tell me how many pounds you want to lose. If you want to be more toned or add more muscle mass, what body fat percentage do you want to work towards?
Give yourself the clearest picture possible so you always know what direction you are going in. There is no worse feeling then working hard for 6 months to realize you haven't made it anywhere near your goal.
If you retest periodically you will know within a few weeks to a month if you are moving towards your goals, and can make the appropriate changes necessary. Remember this is a long game, not a 30 day fix! Health can't be bought over night. Sorry, folks.
3) Are Your Goals Attainable?
Are you willing to make said changes now, or is it just something that would be nice? Having 6 pack abs is nice and all, but are you ready for all the sacrifices it takes to get there? If you answer no, go back to the drawing board and chalk up a new goal.
You want a goal that you are ready to implement steps towards TODAY, not months from now.
4) Are Your Goals Realistic?
If there is one thing I want in life, it is the ability to teleport. Maybe before I die the technology will be available (c’mon Apple – let the IPhone 12 have this ability) that will allow me to do so, but other wise this is a very unrealistic goal for me to have.
Same goes for fitness goals. Realistically, a healthy expectation for weight loss is 1 lbs per week. And the closer you are to your goal weight, the harder it is going to be to continue to lose weight. So if your goal is weight loss, keep this in mind when setting goals. A goal that is too big to chew will only lead to disappointment in the future.
5) Make Your Goals Time Dependent
Having a timeline to work towards gives urgency to your goals. As humans we all tend to be procrastinators. If your job never gave you deadlines, would you get more or less work done? I know if time was never a factor, I'd be playing video games rather than writing this blog. So make sure to add a deadline to your goals - and take them seriously.
Follow these five steps, and you should find yourself becoming more successful with your fitness goals in the future. And remember, don’t wait for the New Year to create them. Grab a pen and paper right now and start developing a SMART goal. Over the next few weeks, we will be building on this.
Drop your goals in the comments below, and let's make them happen together!
Move Well, Stay Strong.