Goal Setting is an art and a science. It is really important to personal growth and motivation. With out goals we do not have any direction. Goal setting done right can lead to great positive motion. Done wrong can lead to feelings of disappointment, defeat and high risk of burn out or giving up. Smart goals and realistic goal setting can be just the thing you need to help you on your way to achieving your healthiest body yet!

My number one tip for goal setting is this; Never use weight loss or inches as goals. There are too many variables to weight loss like water retention and muscle building for weight gain or dehydration/disordered eating as a weight loss “solution”. Instead always use behaviors as goals. A behavior goal is something that you can physically commit to doing, like walking a few times a week. You can keep yourself accountable for what you do much easier than what your body does. I also recommend only setting goals after you have spent some time understanding your barriers. That way you know exactly what direction you want to go and what steps you will have to take to get there. If you need help understanding your barriers, check out my last blog before continuing!

What is a SMART goal?

  • S- Specific: be as specific as you need to be in order to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes it is better to be a little flexible, so try to think about how specific and locked in you want to be. An example of being very specific would be to commit to specific exercises at specific time duration and on specific days of the week. “I will do X exercise for X minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”

  • M- Measurable: Measurable is where you can count the amount of exercise you do. For example commit to x amount of days, x amount of minutes or x amount of miles.

  • A- Attainable: something that is in your realm of possibility. In other words, if you do not have a pool don’t set a swimming goal. If it is snowing out, don’t set a walking out side goal.

  • R- Realistic: This is really important. Set a goal that is really easy to fit into your current schedule. You can always add exercise as you make habits and achieve a goals, but if you start with a goal that is unrealistic initially you are more likely to fail. Failing a goal does more damage to your mental health than your physical health. If you can only realistically commit to 10 minutes a day then do not set a 30 minutes a day goal, even if you think you should be at 30 minutes. Work up to it slowly and set yourself up to succeed.

  • T- Timely: Always set a short term goal so that you can refresh and renew your motivation every few weeks. 4 weeks is a good time frame to create a habit and see some results.

SMART goal = I will _______ for _____ minutes ( ____ x a week) for the next ___ weeks

 

 

Here are 10 examples of SMART goals that you may want to start with today!

  1. I will keep a food journal and track what I eat for 3 days.

  2. I will walk for 20 minutes 3 x a week

  3. I will stretch each time after exercise for the next four weeks

  4. I will record the number of repetitions, sets and weights I use during exercise in the next week

  5. I will eat a serving of fruits and vegetables at one meal 4 x a week for the next four weeks

  6. I will try a new exercise class in the next two weeks

  7. I will try a new vegetable recipe each week for the next for weeks

  8. I will drink 62 oz of water 5 x a week for the next four weeks

  9. I will limit sweets to twice a week for the next four weeks

  10. I will be active for 30 minutes three times a week (yard work, golf, house cleaning, walking)