• Even SMART(er) Goals

    Setting even SMART(er) Goals: Following on from our earlier item regarding setting SMART Goals we now look at ways to maximise the motivational benefits of SMART Goals.

    NatResistancebandssizedHave you been setting goals but failing to achieve them? Finding it hard to make the time to achieve your objectives? Or simply lacking motivation (Note: our article on Motivational Theory 101may be of interest).

    No matter how big or small your goal - whether it’s losing 2 or 20 kilos, walking two kilometres or running your first marathon - making change requires planning and SMART goal setting. 

    Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do:

    Specific. Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.

    Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it. For example, “I will lose weight.”

    Measurable. A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how will you know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.

    Attainable. Before you can add a number, you must know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to ‘shoot for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits. 

    Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people. 

    A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.” 

    Relevant. Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal that someone else is pressuring you to attain, that isn’t very motivating.

    Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that ismotivating to you. 

    Time-bound. Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started. 

    Since healthy weight loss is about half to 1 kilo per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”

    Now we have a SMART goal! With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:

    • I will walk for 30 minutes 2 days every week. 
    • I will complete 2 Zoom Fitness classes each week
    • I will row/run/ride at the gym at medium to high intensity for 20 minutes twice per week
    • I will drink water instead of softdrink every day this week. 
    • I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week. 

    Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!

  • Motivational Theory 101

    There are a number of ways you can increase your motivation and keep on track...