How many of you still have New Year’s resolutions? Come on, raise your hands. Many of us want to start the New Year right by being better than we were last year. The most common resolution is brushing your teeth at night and/or flossing, and of course, losing some inches around our midlines. But how does one accomplish such goals? This blog is to help guide you through making SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
The reason why so many fall off the band wagon with New Year’s resolutions is because most people have a laundry list of what they want to accomplish. And of course, living in the United States, we want results yesterday. It’s American, human nature. Time and patience are key here and if you are an ambitious fitness enthusiast, such as those who are reading this, you like to see results as fast as you can do an AMRAP with a time cap of five minutes. But things take time.
Generally, word on the street states it takes about 21 days to develop a habit. For those of you enduring, relishing, and conquering the nutrition challenge, don’t stop now. Those cravings will reside and you will conquer all! For those of you who are feeling the wrath of not allowing yourself the choice of chips or sugar, don’t quit. Mind over matter. You are feeling frustrated and hangry (this is a real word; no red scribbly line was under it when it was typed) which are temporary feelings. BUT, remember, it takes time to see progress. With a challenge, being uncomfortable is normal and when you are uncomfortable, it means you are learning and adapting (both great things). Stick with it. We all have choices and by making the choice to join the challenge, you took the first step in becoming a better version of yourself. You are your own accountability and if you want something bad enough, you will get it. The mind is a powerful muscle.
If you do have a list of goals to achieve for 2019, never fear. Narrow them down a little or prioritize them from most important at the top of the list which will help you stay focused and keep them manageable. Not saying that you can’t do anything you put your mind to but be patient as you work through your list. You will feel more accomplished as you chip away at a prioritized list or a smaller list. Which leads us to defining SMART goal setting.
Specific – Have a very specific goal. Write it down, feel it, believe that you have already achieved it, envision it. You get the drift.
Measurable – An example would be wanting to lower you body fat percentage by one percent per month until you have reached your goal. Be able to measure your water intake each day, etc.
Achievable – Make sure your goal is within reach. If you have never built a house before and you want to build it with your own two hands in 3 months, while raising a family, working full-time, and going to NorthFit six times a week, that might not be a realistic goal for yourself and cause more anxiety for most people. Instead, work on smiling every time you wake up in the morning, showing gratitude for another day, or flossing your teeth every night; whatever floats your boat.
Relevant – Make your goal customized to you. If someone is saying, “my goal for you is…” stop them right there and create your own goal based on your capabilities and desires.
Time-Bound – Put a time cap on that shit. Give yourself time to achieve your goal. Have a specific date in mind that will help you to work towards your goal. It goes full circle.
Now that the SMART goals are defined, put these guidelines to good use. Look at your list and reword each goal if it is not specific. For example, instead of writing, “lose weight”, write down “lose 1 % body fat”. Make them specific. With your specified goal, then move onto the next step of how you are going to measure and keep track. Is this goal achievable (all goals are achievable if you do the work, FYI)? Is your goal relevant to you and what you want? Put a time cap on when you want to achieve your goal. That’s right, a time cap. Are you going to give yourself 6 months or 3 months? Dig deep, people!
Goals don’t have to be extravagant, they can be as simple as giving your dog a hug each morning or your spouse/partner one for that matter (hoping that this happens more often than not). Or it can be as big as flying to Colorado to climb a 14,000 foot peak. All you have to do is believe, be consistent, be focused, envision it, feel it, and you’d be surprised on what you are capable of.
Get after it!