Oh my goodness! It’s already 2019! 2018 flew by and the new year brought with it excitement and the drive to make lifestyle enhancement.
I love the endless possibilities that New Year’s day brings with it. I used to find myself surrounded by so many amazing goals that it became tough to decide which one I wanted to start. I ended up overwhelming myself and lost focus in reaching any of them by the time April came around. After some time I finally realize that goals are amazing to have but, without a plan of execution, it will only look amazing on paper.
Enter S.M.A.R.T. goals. What I love about setting S.M.A.R.T. goal is that it does not have to be something you push to accomplish in one year but it could be something that helps you break a large goal into smaller tasks that guide you in reaching that goal. Bonus: I also use writing these steps down as an opportunity to reflect on past actions and incorporate possible changes I would like to see in my life.
What is an S.M.A.R.T. goal? It stands for:
Understanding the criteria in the S.M.A.R.T. goal helps to focus efforts towards increasing the effectiveness of reaching the stated goals. Sometimes we think the answer is very simple- i.e. “I want to lose weight” and we know that it will include eating right and exercise but, without an actual plan, we tend to fall off the wagon. Writing down these steps increases our focus towards our goals in an organized direction in order to follow a path to success.
Using “I want to lose weight” as an example in this situation:
Specific: Include the 5 ‘W’ (who, what, where, when, and why) to bring more focus to what you actually want to accomplish. Make it so clear and defined that anyone reading your goal can follow it as a manual.
S: I will lose 2 pounds per month
Measurable: Decide how you will measure your progress. This also helps with motivation when you start noticing the “small wins.”
M: I will record my weight on the scale every Thursday morning.
Achievable: Take a moment to evaluate if you have all the resources you need to achieve this goal and if you don’t, what are you missing that would prevent you from moving forward?
A: Create a weekly menu of 1200 calories each day with 1 cheat day of max 1700 calories.
Start cardio exercises 3 days per week for 20 minutes each day.
Relevant: Some consider this ‘R’ as reachable but I personally believe that it is extremely important for us to recognize why our goals are relevant to our values. This helps us understand the “point of this.”
R: Losing weight will help me be more active and have an overall healthy lifestyle.
Timely: Have a set date/time in mind keeps us motivated and reminds us to prioritize this goal rather than get lost in the chaos of life.
T: Total of 10 – 12 pounds by the end of June and reevaluate the effectiveness of the details.
I feel that weight loss is something most of us focus on at the beginning of each year and I know that using S.M.A.R.T. goal has helped me improve my focus toward reaching my past goals.
Comment below with your S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2019 and how you plan on achieving them!