Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Goal setting is an integral part of any wellness program and a big part of my life. I have short and long-term goals set in various areas of my life, as well as weekly and daily to-do lists to keep me on track. Before I picked up this helpful habit, I was all over the place, hopping from one thing to another and never finishing any of them.

Setting goals is more than simply stating what you want. “I want to be skinny” is a wish, not a goal. How do you know if the goals you have set are of good quality? Below is the S.M.A.R.T. technique for setting effective goals. Use this as your marker and you can’t go wrong.

Vague statements aren’t goals. Don’t just say, “I want to exercise more” or “I want to lose weight.” Instead, say “ I will lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks” or “I will run at the gym every other day for a month”

How will you know when you have reached your goal? If your ‘goal’ is “I want to be fit” then you’ll never truly know when you’ve attained it. However, if your goal is “I will decrease my body fat by 2%” or “I will lose 10 lbs.” you can accurately measure your progress and know when you’ve reached your mark.

This goes hand in hand with the next step, realistic. Your goals must be set in step-by-step increments. Saying you’re going to lose 100 lbs may be realistic for you, but making that goal attainable is breaking it down into losing 10 lbs at a time. This will help maintain your motivation.

Lofty goals are great, when you have stepping stone goals to reach them. If you’re 250lbs and 5’4” with a goal to be a size 2 in a month, you’ll be disappointed when your deadline comes. Goals must be reachable or we will sabotage our success.

I’m going to lose 5 pounds. That seems like a normal goal. But by when? A week? A month? A year? Setting a time limit on goals gives you a sense of urgency and accountability. With a deadline you’re more likely to stay on track and actually reach your goal.

Be sure to write down your goals and post them where you’ll see them each day. I keep some on my fridge, in my bedroom and in my purse at all times. I am positive you’ll notice a great difference in your productivity and success after implementing a written list of your SMART goals.

1 comment:

Christie said...

Hi Danyelle:

I was wondering...I'm 5'11 and 245 lbs and would like to lose 82 (I good weight for me is 163). What is a realistic time frame to lose that kind of weight? Does it solely depend on how much exercise I do and how clean I eat?