New Year, New You…Right???
It’s that time of year again. The new year and you feel ready to embrace a fresh start when it comes to your health and fitness goals. And now that it’s February, those unhealthy habits are no longer, you are already a fitter and healthier version of yourself. You’ve stuck with your resolutions thus far, right??
If you haven’t managed to keep these, don’t worry you’re not alone. According to U.S. News, “approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you.” Instead of setting ambiguous resolutions this year, set yourself up for success with a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
This type of goal setting brings structure to achieving a more attainable and realistic goal. Realistic, well-planned health and fitness goals keep you focused and motivated. They provide a plan for change as you transition to a healthier lifestyle.
No matter how big or small your goal-whether it’s losing 5 or 50 pounds, walking a mile or running your first marathon-making change requires planning and SMART goal setting.
Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do:
- Your goal should be clear and easy to understand.
- A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.
- Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”
- A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.
- Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to ‘shoot for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits.
- Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people.
- A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.”
- Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal that someone else is pressuring you to attain-that isn’t very motivating.
- Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you.
- Time-bound. Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started.
- Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”
Now we have a SMART goal! With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:
- I will walk 5 days every week for 30 minutes each.
- I will drink water instead of soda every day this week.
- I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.
Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!
Creating a Plan
Just as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Take the gradual progressions necessary to be able to execute these objectives so it becomes a reasonable and realistic lifestyle change.
Jim Rohn once said, “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” Get into a regimen that you can maintain and that makes sense for your lifestyle.
Celebrate your milestones so that you continue to strive for your long-term goals. Expect some bumps in this endeavor, but do not quit when various trajectories seem to derail you. Continue the journey and know that you are not in this alone.
Accountability is a great tool to keep you motivated and having a friend or family member go through it with you can often help keep you on track. We have Healthfit Coaches that will customize a plan that best fits your lifestyle.
Let us help you not become a part of the 80% of people who fail at achieving their goals. Speak to your doctor about our FOCUS accountability program.
About The Program
- Monthly assessments specific to focused goals
- Weekly contacts via email/texts/phone to ensure consistency
- Monthly accountability tools to help fully utilize time
- Monthly meetings with health fit coach to review strategy
Initial Information Obtained
- Activity log
- Food log
- Sleep log
- Health and fitness assessment
- Review of information/logs
- Development of program strategy
- Selection of program tools
- Goal setting
Monthly Meeting Agenda
- Monthly physical assessments
- Review of accountability tools and programs
- Selection of focused goals for upcoming month
Reference: S.M.A.R.T. article by the American Council on Exercise website: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6763/a-smart-guide-to-goal-setting