SMART Goal-Setting: A New Year, A New You!
Hopefully by now you have started to drag yourself out of the Holiday Haze. Parties and fun times are great but they can’t last forever! At BEFIT, we love January and the beginning of a New Year. Nothing motivates us quite like the challenge of a fresh start and we want to share this with you. Whether you want to revamp your health and fitness plan or if you are a complete newbie, BEFIT is here to help you achieve your goals.
From time-to-time we all have struggles keeping a plan on track, which is why we have created this guide using the SMART system to accompany you on your health and fitness journey in 2016 and beyond. SMART criteria are goal-setting guidelines commonly used in business. The system can also be adapted for personal development goals such as a New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy.
What NOT To Do
Before you get going, it’s good to know the do-nots of SMART goal-setting. The best way to avoid mistakes is to know what you are trying avoid. Keep in mind that there is no “one-size fits all ” when it comes to health and fitness. What works for a friend may not work for you so make sure not to simply copy someone else’s plan and try to work it in to your schedule. You also shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Just like everyone’s goals differ, so too do bodies. Your successes belong to you and no one else.
At BEFIT, we want to help all our friends and clients reach their goals. Here are our five SMART goal-setting tips for a successful health and fitness plan:
- Specific – We already mentioned that there are no one-size fits all fitness plans. Your plan and goals must be specific to you. Before you get started, you need to define what it is you want to get out of your plan. If you want to lose weight, how much weight? If you want to run more, how much more? If you want to eat healthier, what do you want to change? Only you have these answers. A key to success is being able to visualize your end goal. Having your specifics clearly defined from the get-go will make visualizing and reaching your end-target all that easier.
- Measurable – You must track your progress in order to know if your goals are on target. It’s the only way to know if your plan is working for you. All your goals need to be measurable. This is how you notice improvements in your fitness levels, decreases in body-fat, increases in distance run in a certain amount of time or whatever your specific goals are. One of the secrets to avoiding failure is to measure your little successes along the way.
- Achievable – This one should seem obvious but the goals you set yourself must be achievable by you. Getting fit and healthy is not a competition with yourself. You should have an idea of what your limits are. If you have never lifted weights before but want it in your plan, set a goal that is realistic for a novice. Speak to professionals and do your research so you can be assured that whatever it is you are trying to achieve is doable for you. To borrow again from the business world, one set of unachievable goals can pave the way for all your future fitness plans. Excuses and failures can become expected or accepted, leaving your fitness goals on the scrap heap.
- Relevant – We’re bringing up others again! Successful SMART goal-setting includes only goals that are relevant to you and where you are in your life right now. Don’t feel pressure to join a walking group or a weight loss group with a friend if it’s not part of your overall plan. Of course you can support a friend but support does not include derailing your own plan. You need to support yourself first. A goal that is important to you is also a goal you are more likely to achieve.
- Timing – It may be a New Year resolution but that doesn’t mean you can only check in on how you are doing at the end of 2016. Your overall plan can contain smaller timed-goals which can help you monitor your progress throughout the year. If running is part of your plan, you could sign up for a 10km race with a race completion time in mind after three months on your plan. If your plan is oriented towards trimming inches of your waist line, you could aim to wear a certain outfit by a summer vacation. Having timed goals is also a great psychological motivator as it breakdowns one big plan into smaller, more manageable increments
Remember, if you ever find yourself struggling with your goals or if you have any questions about SMART goal-setting, BEFIT is here to help. No matter what your plan entails, we will have a trainer who will be happy to assist and motivate you all year long!
Feeling better about your health or fitness shouldn’t be a chore. If you ever need some extra support, come by BEFIT to speak with one of our trainers or simply fill out a Free Consultation Request by clicking the link and a fitness professional will reach out to you within 24 hours.