Are They Smart?
Yesterday I started talking about setting goals for 2018.
Today, I’d like to give you a little guidance so the goals you set are effective and you can actually achieve them…
One of the biggest issues I see with goals that people set is that they’re very vague…
“I want to lose weight” or “I want to be healthier.”
Well, if you lose 1 pound or you improve your triglycerides 1 point…technically, you achieved your goal.
I’m guessing those results wouldn’t have you doing a victory dance. ;-b
So, first and foremost you need to be very SPECIFIC when you set your goals.
For example, you might set a goal to “lose 20 pounds” or “complete X number of workouts” or “lower your triglycerides to X.”
Those are very specific goals and they lead to the next important aspect of goal setting – MEASURABLE.
If you can’t measure it how do you know if you achieved it?
I think that one is pretty straight-forward.
Even if one of your goals is to “feel better” you can measure that by using something like a symptom questionnaire to measure progress. Janell uses one of these in her 21-Day Detox Challenge.
Next up is ATTAINABLE.
Basically, set a goal you can actually reach.
Now, by no means do I mean set timid goals. Remember, a good goal should both excite you AND scare you at the same time.
However, my chances of playing professional football no matter how hard I train and practice are ZERO. ;-b
I do see people setting unattainable weight loss goals pretty often….
Sometimes it’s because of their skewed understanding of what is attainable – shows like The Biggest Loser really messed people’s perception of weight loss up. Other times it’s because they don’t understand their own bodies…
For example, I’ve often had people come to me who want to lose 30 pounds for example. They want to be their high school weight again. However, when their body composition analysis reveals they only have 22 pounds of fat to lose dropping 30 pounds isn’t really an attainable goal…unless they want to sacrifice muscle and get weaker, have a slower metabolism, and overall feel worse…
So, along with having a Specific and Measurable goal, make sure it’s Attainable.
Next up, RELEVANT.
Having a goal that’s relevant helps with your “sticktoitiveness.”
If you’re going after a goal that’s going to force you to stretch yourself you’re going to face obstacles. It’s pretty easy to give up on your goal if it’s not really relevant to your personal values or vision.
For example, in my 20+ years of being a fitness professional, I’ve found that IT’S NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT LOSS.
It’s about what the weight loss will do to better someone’s life…
That may be improved self-confidence or being able to watch your grandkids grow up and actually play with them.
When you latch onto a BIG WHY, thus making your goal relevant, you’re far more likely to see it through. That’s why I always want to understand the WHY of anyone who applies for our 6 week 20 pound Challenge.
Finally, your goals must have a TIME component. When will you achieve it by?
Are you going to lose 20 pounds in one year or in 6 weeks?
They’re both fine goals, but you need to decide.
You can’t just say my goal is to complete one set of 10 push-ups because the training to do so will give me the upper body strength I desire to improve my everyday life.
You’ve got a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Relevant goal there.
But WHEN will you achieve it. In one month, one year, one decade?
If you don’t put a time limit (a realistic one) on it, you’ll keep putting it off.
How many unachieved goals have you had on your list for years or even decades because you simply didn’t commit to an achievement date?
So, the last piece is to choose a timeframe.
Quite frankly, that’s why we see so much success with our 6-week 20-pound Challenge – it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely for our participants).
Now, just to be clear, we also get plenty of people who will adjust the goal to make it attainable and relevant to them. For example, we also have people who set a 10-pound goal. It’s all good…as long as it’s SMART for them.
Now, I’d like to challenge you to set a SMART goal that you will achieve in 2018 (not necessarily a one-year goal, but a goal that will be completed sometime next year) and email it back to me – think of that as your “signed commitment” to achieving it. 😉
Justin Yule BS, CPT, MTE, FMSC
President and Chief Transformation Officer
The Transformation Club
Are They Smart?
Are They Smart?