New year, new me.
The perfect time to make resolutions for the year ahead. But are they the same ones you have made every year?
What has held you back from achieving your health and fitness goals in the past?
In society today, everyone wants results without putting in the time and effort required to achieve them. Rather than setting aside time to gather information, gain knowledge, and construct a reasonable plan for accomplishing their “goals”, people are often looking for quick fixes. So when they don’t reach their goals in the first few weeks, they lose interest and quit.
The importance and value of goal setting is often overlooked and the biggest mistake most people make is setting unrealistic or unspecific goals. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get fit” are the most common ones I come across with my clients. The difference between setting these goals and actually achieving them is in the details. The most effective way to set a goal AND achieve it is to follow the SMART approach:
- What do you want to accomplish?
- What are your specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal?
- Who will be involved?
- Where will you do it?
Your goal must be specific rather than general in order to be effective. Setting large, vague goals will not motivate you to achieve them.
- How will you measure your progress?
- How will you know when you have reached your goal?
Measuring progress towards the achievement of the goal is essential. If a goal is not measurable it is not possible to know whether you are making progress towards completion. Measuring progress helps you stay on track, reach your target dates and continue putting in the effort required to reach the ultimate goal. Remember, what can be measured, can’t be managed.
- How will achieve your goal?
- What are you prepared to do?
It must be possible for you to achieve your goal. Setting unachievable, unattainable goals is pointless. You will be doomed from the outset. You yourself need to be capable of implementing your goal.
- Is your goal realistic?
- Is it too difficult to achieve?
Your goal must be relevant to the resources and constraints available to you. Your goal should be challenging, but not so big or complex that you will lose the motivation to achieve it.
- What is the timeframe?
- Is it achievable?
A goal must have a deadline. This will provide you with the necessary focus and sense of urgency to make it happen.
Take some time now to think about what benefits you would gain from goal setting. How might they motivate you to start achieving them? It is a good idea to set a few action-oriented SMART goals. Not only will this give you a game plan, but it will keep motivation levels high as you start reaching them. The sum of achieving many small short term goals all add up to big changes in the long term!
If you have any questions about how to set realistic and achievable goals for yourself then contact me!