The problem is that the best intentioned resolution or intent for change is bound to fail without a well designed goal, action plan and support network.
So what should you do if you really want to lose weight in 2010, and not 2011 or 2012? Read on as with S.M.A.R.T Goals and a few other simple tips you will be able to transform this year’s aspirations into reality.
The key is that each goal and resolution includes the five attributes of the S.M.A.R.T Goals acronym listed below.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – rewarding
T – time-based
As an example, let us use the S.M.A.R.T attributes to transform the typical failure-prone goal of “I want to lose weight” into a much more powerful and motivating gem designed for success.
Specific – How many pounds do you want to lose?
Measurable – Is your goal measurable? Will you know if you are on track or have achieved your goal?
Achievable – Is your goal achievable and realistic? You are much better setting a goal to lose 5 pounds in two months than an unreasonable 30 pounds in a month. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the beginning with a goal that is too lofty. Nothing will boost your confidence and morale more than achieving your goal. Think of each goal as a stepping stone that inspires you to consistently progress to your larger lofty goal.
Rewarding – Absolutely critical! If your goal doesn’t get you excited and jazzed then you need to take a step back and ponder a bit more. Your goal MUST really get you juiced. We also recommend that you decide how you will REWARD yourself when you achieve your goal. Go
on, celebrate with friends or treat yourself to something special; your reward will further motivate you to succeed.
Time-based – When will you achieve this goal? Don’t skip this step; setting a time-limit creates a fixed timetable and a sense of urgency to keep you on track. If your time period is 6 months or longer then set an interim goal with a shorter 2-3 month timeline. Goals that stretch out beyond 6 months are too long to keep you motivated.
Using SMART Goals, “I want to lose weight” becomes the more inspiring and effective “I will lose 5 pounds by Feb 28.”
If losing 5 pounds doesn’t motivate you, but slipping into those jeans that you haven’t been able to wear for two years do, then make that your goal. Remember that goals are individual and must excite you.
Here are two other typical goals that have been transformed using SMART attributes:
“ I want to run faster” becomes “I will run a 45 minute 10k by March 30”
“I want to get in shape” becomes “I will run a 10 minute mile and do 30 pushups by April 1” or
“I will hike up Mount Sanitas in under two hours by May 1”
Inspiration Everywhere you Turn
Here are two other suggestions to tip the scale of success in your favor:
1. Share your Goals with Others. Speak your goals. Share then with everyone you know. The more you hear yourself verbalize your goals the more real they become. In addition, you will be creating a natural support group to help you along the way.
2. Write your Goals Down. Write your goals down and post them in prominent places that you will see them throughout the day: on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, in your car and by your desk. These constant reminders will help inspire you each day.
Tasks & Actions – Making your Goals a Reality
Once you have established your SMART Goal, you need to create a list of action items and tasks to be completed each day or week that will get you closer to achieving your goal. Even the best goal is useless if you don’t have and implement an action plan. Achieving a goal is a series of consistent baby steps that each day brings you closer.
For our example goal of losing weight here are a few sample action items:
• Maintain a daily food journal
• Create a weekly meal plan each Monday
• Shop each Sunday for healthy snacks to have available in the car and at the office
• Exercise 4 times a week
To help guide you with your goal setting and action items we have create a SMART Goals Worksheet and highly recommend that you print out a copy and use the worksheet for each of your goals. The worksheet can be found at http://fitliv.com/Smart_Goals_Worksheet.htm
It is a New Year and an ideal time for a New You! Let your SMART Goals inspire you for an exciting and motivating 2010.
Fitness For Living has been energizing adults with its unique Fitness Boot Camps for seven years. The camps are designed to challenge all fitness levels. The 5-week camaraderie-styled Boot Camps are held both indoors and out year-round in Boulder, Louisville, Lafayette and Longmont. For additional information visit www.fitliv.com or call 303.550.3491.