Now, let’s take this a little further and get smart about this goal setting and motivation thing. I’m not sure who was creative enough to make the acronym work, but work it does, and it can fit in quite nicely with your goals.
Not sure who was creative enough to make the S-M-A-R-T acronym work, but work it does, and it can fit in quite nicely with any goals you set. If you want to succeed, you need to get SMART about your goals.
If you want to succeed, you need to get SMART about your goals.
The S stands for specific.
Be specific about the goals you want to achieve. Forget things like, “I want to get in shape”, “I want to get big”, or “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to increase my bench press.”
Instead, try things like “I want to run a 6-minute mile”.
“I want to add 10 pounds of muscle.”
“I want to lose 20 pounds of fat”, or “I want to add 40 pounds to my best bench press”, or “I want to eat 100% Paleo in fourteen days.”
The M stands for measurable.
Measurable ties in very well with specific. You can’t measure ‘getting in shape”, but you sure can measure ‘running a 6-minute mile’ or ‘bench three plates’.
With a pair of good skin fold calipers, you can also measure pretty accurately adding 10 pounds of muscle or losing 20 pounds of fat. And of course, you can easily measure the poundage increase on your best bench press.
The specific and measurable aspect can be broken down, even more, to bring you closer to achieving your goals. For example, if you want to add 10 pounds of muscle, what other specific and measurable things must you do to reach your goal?
One could be that you must eat three meals and two snacks a day that is 100% Paleo.
You must train with weights three days per week.
You must add weight to your exercises at least every other workout.
Every 14 days you eliminate another non-Paleo food from your diet until you are 100% Paleo.
All of these are specific and measurable.
You can make a list of your daily, weekly, and monthly goals that you must do to meet your top goal. Each day, place a check mark next to each measurable and specific goal you achieved that will help you conquer your most important goal. Obviously, the more checks you have, the more likely that you will achieve your goal.
In addition to specific and measurable, your goals must be A, or attainable. The R stands for realistic.
Setting challenging goals is important.
Challenging, but attainable, that is.
Obviously, weight loss is on the minds of many people, which is why so many fall victim to promises like “lose 30 pounds in 30 days without getting hungry and without exercising.”
You most likely know that the above is neither timely nor realistic. But many people do fall for such things because they want results NOW!
They are setting themselves up for failure before they even start. Please don’t join them.
The T stands for Timely.
If you do everything previously mentioned, it’s still not enough. You must give yourself a deadline to achieve your goal. More importantly, if your goal is attainable and realistic, but also long term, break it up into smaller goals.
If you wish to lose 75 pounds, start with losing just 10 pounds in 2 months. Reaching that goal will motivate you further and before you know it, enough time has passed that you’ve lost the 75 lbs.
But if you focus solely on losing the 75 pounds, which could take a year or more to accomplish, your motivation and discipline could wane, and you could fail to follow through on what you need to do to make your goal a reality.
Making goals timely holds you accountable and creates a definite sense of urgency. You may think twice about eating that piece of cake when you know you are having a body composition test and pictures to be taken in 2 weeks.
In addition to getting smart, celebrate your successes. And I don’t mean that you should allow yourself to dust off a gallon of ice cream in one sitting because you lost 10 pounds, or because you just marked off the 100th straight day you’ve eaten Paleo… That would be self-defeating.
But you could treat yourself to a movie, or a pair of jeans you’ve had your eye on, or an extra hour of sleeping in on the weekend. Don’t sabotage your incredible efforts by giving yourself destructive rewards for accomplishing your goals.