As 2020 starts to come to a close, many of us are now starting to think about New Years resolutions and what those look like, whether it is you going out and starting a new hobby, growing your own business, starting to work out, learn to play guitar, whatever it may be! For me, I would love to be able to learn to play the guitar along with growing this personal training business into something that helps a lot of people and doing it all online, that way we can reach people from all walks of life in all areas. With these goals, it is important to dream big but there is always one problem that people face and that is being able to sustain it. We all can dream big, hope to accomplish some really big goal of losing 100 lbs or eating healthier, but most times do not know how to gradually get there and instead just focus on getting there as fast as possible. This is why today, we will be talking about SMART goals.
A SMART goal has 4 parts to it: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time. Specific goals are the best goals, when you say you want to lose weight, how much? Where do you want to lose weight from? What are the key areas you are not happy with? How are you going to lose that weight. So, for the sake of this post, let’s use losing weight as our goal. Let’s say I started off with a goal to lose weight, so now how do we make that more specific? Well, lets change that into I want to lose 20 lbs of fat. Now, we have a goal number we want to lose, but what else is missing? I want to lose 20 lbs, but what are my goal areas. Well, lets look at losing 20 lbs from my stomach and lower back mostly. Now, we have a specific goal of losing 20 lbs mostly from the stomach and the lower back. This doesn’t mean that we can target those areas and lose just from there, it just means that now we know what we want to look like and what would make us happier. Now how are we going to lose that weight? Let’s say we love playing basketball and lifting weights, so we plan to lose that weight with weight training, basketball, and then also healthy eating.
Okay, now we look at measurable. How are we going to measure me losing 20 lbs of fat from those areas. The three key things that we recommend using are pictures, the scale, and body fat calipers if you have them. If not, we want to look at pictures and then the scale to measure progress. Now, the reason that we are using both is because our overall goal is to lose 20 lbs, but if at the end of this mission we only lose 15 then we also have the pictures to see how we look now based off of when we started. A lot of times, the scales can lead us to believe that we are not doing enough, but pictures will go and tell a different story. So, we use both to get a good measurement overall. We recommend you take pictures once every other week and take weight once a week, that way you are not stepping on the scale every day to see where you are at and then you also have pictures taken enough time apart to really tell the work that you are doing.
Next one we are looking at is Attainable and Realistic, is the goal that we are striving towards realistic and attainable. In order to know this, we also need to know the time frame in which we are going to be doing this in, which relates to the last item which is Time. For the sake of this example, lets look at 6 months as our timeframe to lose 20 lbs of fat. Is that realistic and attainable? Well, let’s look at where you would like to be on average to lose some weight. Starting off, if you have never worked out before you tend to hold a lot of water weight from sodas, junk food, and things of that nature. As you put your body through a type of change such as working out, you will start to change up how your body functions, allowing for you to initially lose a lot more weight in the beginning because that water weight will be the first thing to come off. From there, we want to look at losing 1 lb a week of fat safely as the goal. This would put us at 20 weeks for 1 lb of fat, giving us about 5 months in order to do that! Now, starting off we may lose more in the first couple weeks because the water weight will be easier to come off, but as we continue, our progress will slow so as long as we average about 1 lb a week then this will be Attainable, Realistic, and also Time oriented.
So, our end goal is to lost 20 lbs from the stomach and lower back through basketball and weight training along with healthy eating in 6 months utilizing pictures on a biweekly and scale measurements on a weekly basis to measure progress. It’s specific, measure able, attainable and realistic, and has a time component to it. From there, it is now important to take it slow and work our way into making it a lifestyle instead of a one time goal and that’s it. This is something that we emphasize all the time and will continue to do. With the new year coming up, it is good to have a plan and be able to have a way to put that plan into action, so with this method you now have a goal and a time frame that you want to do it in. The next step from there is to set smaller goals along the way so that you continuously strive toward the big goal at the end of the tunnel and do not get discouraged if you have a couple bad days here and there.