Ok I want you to imagine goals, goals, goals sung to the tune of “girls, girls, girls” by Motley Crue. Go on just do it, get it out the way now, because I’m totally singing that myself. That’s something we do, make up silly songs to the tune of something else. Usually when we don’t know the real words but I digress. Today we’re talking about GOALS! Last week I shared my health & fitness planner and today I want to talk a little more in depth about goals, goal setting and how to use the SMART system when it comes to goals for 2016 and beyond.
The SMART system is one of the keys to success, and I thought today I’d go over a few things about the SMART system, share my tips and tricks and if you have any questions you can just ask away in the comments. Remember, if you haven’t signed up for your free Health & Fitness planner then go ahead now and go sign up, print out your goals sheets and let’s get busy.
Setting SMART Goals
Imagine a simple daily activity you’re done for a long time, maybe something you’ve done you’re whole life and just take the necessary steps needed to do this task for granted, because you do it on autopilot. Maybe it’s something ridiculously simple like brushing your teeth? When you brush your teeth in the morning do you pick up the toothbrush, move it back and forth, then put it in your mouth, take it out your mouth and lastly apply toothpaste? Nope! Why? It makes no logical sense as it won’t get the task done. Each task we do on a daily basis has an order in which it has to be done, goals are no different. By using little steps to help us on the way we can figure out a system that helps us achieve those goals.
[tweetthis]Break your goals into bitesize chunks to more easily achieve success! via @workoutwithdi[/tweetthis]
Let’s use the brushing teeth example. Is the goal to brush the teeth? Not really. The goal is to avoid cavities, have a nice white smile and good gum health. Who decides if we’re doing a good job? Our dentist. What steps can we take to achieve that include brushing our teeth, flossing and using mouthwash. However is it realistic to do all three of these everyday, twice a day? Most of the time? Having a dentist appointment every 6 months gives us a timeframe to work by and motivates us to keep to that cleaning schedule. See how that works? So let’s break that SMART SYSTEM down for health and fitness.
Get Specific. 99% of women are going to choose weight loss as their goal. That’s a totally made up statistic, but you know that it’s the majority. It’s all I’ve seen on facebook from friends and family. Lose weight, lose weight, lose weight. I’d rather instead you think about changing shape and body composition (losing fat, gaining muscle) and ignore weight completely but I hear ya, I hear ya. It’s hard not to get on the ‘lose weight’ bandwagon. But let me tell ya sista, the weight won’t just suddenly drop off because you set a goal. You need to figure out HOW that goal is going to happen. Like the dental example above, what will help in your weight loss endeavor? What will be your teeth brushing, flossing and mouthwash? Think of these as your mini goals, or baby steps to get to the big goal.
Weight loss? Great! How? Diet and exercise! Cool, how often? What are you going to change? duration? Choices? Does this mean quitting something? Adding something in? Changing a fitness program? What SPECIFIC steps you need to reach that big goal? I personally try to change one thing per month, rather than everything at once. Make those changes a habit before moving on to something new.
Discover something you can Measure! Dropping 10 lbs might sound like something you can measure but really it’s only part of it. What about girth measurements or Body Fat percentage? Sometimes you don’t see a drop on the scale but can shrink your size dramatically! Not sure about you but I’d take dropping 2 pant sizes over 10lbs anyday! Looking and feeling better is way more important to me than being at “X” weight, along with feeling happier (because exercise releases those happy endorphins!). Take starting stats and retest at 30 day intervals. Don’t jump on the scale everyday expecting some dramatic change. This isn’t the lotto, your life won’t change overnight, #truthbomb, sorry to burst your bubble. Along with the main goal, how will you measure your mini goals?
Looking and feeling better is way more important than weight loss in my opinion but if weight loss your goal is it achievable? You and I both see the crazy magazines touting losing 10lbs in 10 days. But really, is that achievable? Maybe if you chopped off a limb! Set a goal that is challenging but doable. You need to lose 10lbs? Great, how? What and how are you going to keep track of that goal? Don’t try and run before you can walk. Example: If your fitness goal is to hold a 5 minute plank, you wouldn’t start with a goal of 5 minutes right? You’d start with a goal of 1 minute (or less depending on your fitness level). That’s the purpose of those smaller goals. They give you something to aim for that is achievable while you strive towards that big goal.
This is where you take a moment to get real with yourself. Say you want to lose 30lbs, BUT you are in nursing school full time, working part-time, and have family commitments, so your time and budget is limited. Are you going to be able to work out 6 days a week, and spend time preparing healthy homemade meals? Probably not. So don’t set a goal of losing 50lbs this year. Revise that because it’s probably not realistic given your schedule. Weight loss takes a lot of hard work, time, and consistency. Changes don’t happen quickly and setting that goal of 50lbs is setting yourself up for failure when you already have an already overfull plate. Switch your mindset instead to losing less total weight, staying more active, and eating better. Baby step your way to that goal because if you set that unrealistic expectation you’ll feel like shit when you don’t make it and spiral downwards into more weight gain faster than you can say cookie jar. Science and mat tell us that to lose 1lb a week we need to reduce our calorie expenditure by 3500 a week. That’s 500 a day. That’s around 1 spin class daily AND eating a balanced diet to your daily calorie goal. Not including adjustments for things like hormones, metabolic rate, gender, age, stress levels etc which all can influence your weight loss rate. Be realistic with yourself. If you have too much stuff on your plate already what are you going to change to achieve your realistic goals?
As with all things set a deadline! I’m fond of yearly goals broken into smaller monthly goals. Others do 90 days. However set that goal and set a deadline for it. 30lbs in 1 year, might be possible. With a lot of hardwork and dedication. Again though is that deadline achievable and realistic? Those headlines that say lose 30lbs in 30 days isn’t realistic or achievable. Again long term and short term. Work your goals into your life, make the changes you need to get there little by little, play the long game!
One thing I want to add is to hold yourself accountable somehow, which is why I added this accountability sheet in my Health & Fitness planner. Write out your intention and set it in writing. Maybe find an accountability partner who you are going to have hold you to it. Check it with them each week/month to see how things are going. Recruit family members to workout with you. Get everyone in the family eating better, remember childrens healthy habits come from healthy parents!
I have a TON of goals I want to achieve in 2016 and you better believe I’d worked through the SMART system. Hold yourself accountable, tell me one of your goals for 2016 and how you’re going to achieve it!