Maintain Your New Year’s Resolution For Good!! (Part 1)
THE SMART GOAL METHOD: Specific . Measurable . Attainable . Realistic . Time-Bound
by Andrea Mathis
Studies show that people are 40% more likely to achieve a goal when they write it down.
Goals inspire us to new levels of achievement, they make us feel proud when we reach them, and give us something to look forward to each day.
Achieving any kind of goal requires a plan. Without a plan there is only hope for something to happen. Many times our goals are ambiguous or seem too overwhelming to know where to begin. Applying the SMART goal method is a useful tool to use when creating goals, to help you determine exactly what you desire and how to achieve it.
Specific: It’s not enough to just say, “I want to lose weight” or even, “I want to lose 25lbs”. The goal must be specific, have meaning and purpose. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in the process. What is it that I want? Why do I want to achieve this goal? And what will it feel like when I achieve it. How will I get to my goal? Write the goal down as specifically as it feels good to you. It is important to state the goal in a positive form as if you’ve already achieved it.
“I feel healthy, confident and strong having lost weight.”
Measurable: The goal has to be measurable to track progress. Do you want to lose a specific number of pounds, get to a certain weight, dress size or body fat composition? Also determine what action you’ll take to reach your goal.
“I feel healthy, confident and strong having lost 50 lbs. by tracking calories, eating smaller portions and exercising every day.”
Attainable: The goal should feel attainable, and sustainable, one that is a bit of a challenge but doable without feeling overwhelmed. Knowing what you do, about yourself and weight loss does 50lbs feel overwhelming right now? Can the goal be broken down to a smaller goal?
“I feel healthy, confident and strong having lost 25lbs by tracking calories, eating smaller portions and walking for 30 minutes 7 days a week.”
Realistic: The goal needs to be realistic. As you become more specific, the goal starts to feel more real but is it realistic? Will you really walk every day? Will walking be enough to get you to your goal? Are there other activities that could be added that would be beneficial and fit with the goal.”
“I feel healthy, confident and strong having lost 25lbs by tracking calories, eating smaller portions, walking for 30 minutes 4 days a week and weight training 2 days per week.”
Time bound: A goal needs to have a time frame. Assuming it is January 1st, and knowing that a one pound a week weight loss requires a deficit of 3500 calories what kind of time frame feels attainable and realistic to lose 25 lbs. There are 24 weeks in 6 months. Whatever amount of time feels best is up to you, just put a date on it.
“On July 1st, 2020 I feel healthy, confident and strong having lost 25lbs by tracking calories, eating smaller portions, walking for 30 minutes 4 days a week and weight training 2 days a week”.
Set an intention daily for smaller goals (prepare a healthy shopping list, review a restaurant food guide to prepare you for dinner out, cook at home one more night a week, walk an additional 100 steps). Accomplishing smaller goals lays the foundation for achieving the bigger goal.
Stay tuned for Part 2