Are your health and fitness goals SMART?

Goals

Design your goals in a way that motivates you, steering you in the right direction. Your goals need to keep your mind on the ultimate health and prize. Without the proper insight, your goals may go unrealized. For a better chance of success, do a goal analysis. Analyzing goals using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) criteria helps you meet your goals by discovering and strengthening the weak spots.

Are they specific?

You may find it hard to meet broad and lofty goals. Goals must be clear and specific. When analyzing your goals, look for words that show exactly what you want to do. Ask yourself: What do I want really want? How do I want to do it? For example, your goal may be to lose weight. Instead your goal should say that want to lose 10 pounds by reducing calorie intake.

Are they measurable?

If you can’t measure a goal, how do you know when you regress or make progress? With that in mind, each goal should have a unit of measurement. Your goal may be to run for longer periods. Instead, your goals should be more like running three miles without stopping.  An alternative to performing more standard push-ups would be working up to 15 push-ups per set.

Are they attainable?

Make your goals challenging yet attainable. If they’re  too easy, they will fail to motivate. At the same time, goals that are too difficult may lead to failure. So how do you decide whether your goals are attainable? Question whether you have the skills, knowledge or resources necessary to reach your goal. For example, if you want to increase your strength you will need access to a gym or weight equipment.

Are they realistic?

Many get caught in the trap of wanting to lose 10 pounds in one week. Most of the time this goal is not only unrealistic but also downright dangerous. To analyze the soundness of your goals, ask yourself if you are willing and able to do what’s necessary to achieve it.  Do your goals consider your current level? Do you have enough time and social support?

Are they timely?

Check your goals to see if there’s a deadline. A sense of urgency encourages commitment. Timely goals help you remain focused on those goals. Your goal should be either short-term or long-term. A short-term goal can include committing to not eating after 7 p.m. every day. A long-term goal may involve losing 20 pounds by New Year’s Eve.