‘Smart’ Goal Setting
Struggling to take action and get motivated with your health & fitness?
We all have busy lives and before we know it, one day merges with the next, the weekend arrives and no sooner than the blink of an eye, it’s Monday. As we start a fresh new week, we often say to ourselves, I need to cut down and start losing weight, I need to go to the gym or start exercising. As a consequence, we feel disappointed with ourselves, lack motivation and often say, ‘oh well what’s the point!’ ‘I’ll start tomorrow?’ Maybe start to think about and plan where we want to be and what we want to change.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford.
Where do I start?
Humans are creatures of habit and we suddenly find ourselves adopting ‘comfortable habits. We get into habits of eating unhealthily or making bad choices, not being active or exercising much, which becomes the ‘norm’ and ‘comfortable’ as there is less effort to maintain. We put on weight, feel lethargic, lose motivation resulting in low confidence and finally give up because it’s easier. We have all been there!
So how do we change our habits to focus on our goals? In a nutshell, fitness, weight loss, dieting, healthy eating, fasting, detoxing, whatever your beliefs or the route you wish to take, it needs to be planned and goals need to be set. Find out what suits you best and works for you the most, from your current health status, age, commitments, barriers and budget. Keeping motivated and maintaining a consistent ‘enjoyable’ plan is the key to success.
The acronym ‘S M A R T’ is a great way to break it down and understand goal setting.
S – Specific…. Our goals need to be Specific to what we want to achieve (weight loss, get lean, sports training event, a special family event). What type of exercise or training do I need that will help me succeed and get the results I desire?
M – Measurable…. Measure your hip and waist and keep a note for future comparison, your clothes will feel loose. Use scales if you wish, but these are not always that motivating as our body composition changes all the time in both men and women and can sometimes make us feel deflated. If you do, only weigh weekly or fortnightly to keep on track.
A – Achievable… How do we do this? Plan what sort of healthy eating diet or exercise suits you or what you enjoy doing. Look at your current health and fitness level and decide what’s safe and provides the best results. Plan it around home and work commitments and log everything. Use exercise and food diaries. If you enjoy something, you’ll be more motivated and excited to do it! Tell family and friends what you are trying to achieve so they can help you to. You are more likely to stick to it if you have a friend or family member to join in with you.
R – Realistic….Part of setting good goals is to be realistic in what you need to do to reach those goals. How much can I actually lose safely? 1-2 pounds per week…. 1 stone in a month? 3 stones in a year? Can I realistically achieve what I am planning without causing any unnecessary stress? There’s no quick fix…be patient, persevere and more importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself.
T – Time…. how are you planning to do this? Time scale… 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months?? What time of the day suits you best to exercise, early morning, during the day, evening, maybe before or after work? We need to find what works best for us to be consistent. A running or cycling event needs precise planning to train safely so you can get to the finish line. As well as a wedding or holiday needs time and planning for body transformations, so you look good in a new or favourite outfit.
These 5 simple steps are a great tool to use to help break down the barriers of not knowing where to start. It will provide the necessary help, positivity and motivation to kick start us into changing our lives and getting the results we deserve.
Need help with setting your goals? I can help!