How To Write SMART Goals.

Smart Goal Setting

What Is a SMART Goal?

One of the biggest achievements in life is achievement itself. But, how do you know you’ve achieved something, if it was never a goal in the first place. Most companies will use SMART goal setting as a way of getting employees to write their goals and objectives in preparation for their next review. SMART goal setting is vital for self improvement and determination. Setting goals gives you the required drive you need to achieve.

Smart goals can be used to set a variety of different goals. You can set Immediate goals, Long term goals and short term goals.

Everything in life comes down to goals and priorities. How do you know what to prioritise in life if you haven’t thought about your goals. SMART goal setting brings structure and trackability to your goals and this enables you to prioritise effectively.

In the world of Health and Fitness having goals you can track the progress of is very important to keep you motivated and disciplined.

smart goal Notepad

Why Set SMART Goals?

Imagine trying to find a destination, somewhere you’ve never been before, without a map, sat nav, road signs or any clue how you’re going to get there. It’s practically impossible! Writing your goals is, in reality, a map to YOUR PERSONAL destination. Setting SMART Goals will keep you focussed and promote self discipline, it will help you discover and detail your goals more effectively, SMART goals aren’t just a one sentence kinda thing and they take a lot of thought. SMART goals stop you from setting goals to big, yes people say to aim high, but it’s also important to aim realistically and start off small. SMART Goal setting gives you a long term vision, something to aim for, it enables you to figure out where you are going in life, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. Achieving goals gives you pride, setting small achievable goals enables you to enjoy the journey, build self confidence and start recognising your true ability.

SMART is an Acronym for:

S = Specific

SMART

Goals need to be specific. It’s all well and good setting yourself up with a “I want to be healthy” New Year’s resolution, but where do you go from this? This isn’t specific at all. There is absolutely nothing specific about this goal. By Specific, your SMART goal needs to answer a few questions, such as: Why? Who? Where? What? When? Which? So let’s build:  

  • I want to be healthy because staying unhealthy can severely damage my future (Why)
  • I want to be healthy because staying unhealthy can severely damage my future (who)
  • I am going to join a local gym because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future (Where)
  • I am going to join a local gym because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future (What)
  • I am going to join a local gym and attend 4 times a week because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future (when)
  • I am going to join a local gym and attend 4 times a week, which will require me to plan my time accordingly,  because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future (which)

So as you can see, a simple, vague “I want to be healthy” has now become specific.

 

M = Measurable

SMART

Each goal you make should be measurable in order to keep you on track and spur you on to keep making progress. How questions should be answered here, so questions like; How many?  How often? How much? How little? So our original “I want to be healthy” could become:

  • I am going to join a local gym and attend 4 times a week, which will require me to plan my time accordingly,  because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future. I will measure this by reducing my body fat by 2%.

By adding the 2% this gives you something to work towards and to measure your progress. This will keep you motivated and determined to work towards the goal and enables you to measure each step in the direction of your final goal.

 

A = Attainable

SMART

When you set a goal, you start looking at different ways to learn and adapt in order to attain this goal. You plan your time effectively and you look for new opportunities out there to help achieve them. If you set your goal to run a 10k, instead of just running 3 times a week at the gym/outside you may actively seek other opportunities. You may start running to work, running for the bus, jogging around the house. Soon enough, a goal that may have seemed out of reach starts to become closer and attainable. So for the original goal:

  • I am going to join a local gym, attend 4 times a week and actively search for other opportunities to stay fit and healthy, this will require me to plan my time accordingly,  because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future. I will measure this by reducing my body fat by 2%.

 

R = Realistic

SMART

It would be pretty ridiculous to set your goal at something almost impossible. I mean, if you’d never ran before and you wanted to run a marathon after 2 weeks training, it’s not achievable. Only you know yourself and what you personally can achieve. If you can’t bench press 10kg then you’re probably not going to be able to bench 100kg in a week. The only way to stay motivated and on track is if it’s something you can actually do. Setting an unrealistic goal will only leave you disheartened and unwilling to keep trying. So again if we work on the original goal:

  • I am going to join a local gym, attend 4 times a week and do low to moderate intensity workouts while actively searching for other opportunities to stay fit and healthy, this will require me to plan my time accordingly,  because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future. I will measure this by reducing my body fat by 2%.

It would be unrealistic for a lot of people to sustain high intensity workouts 4 times a week. The more realistic goal would be low/moderate. This doesn’t mean you can’t do high intensity, it just means you won’t be disheartened if you can’t achieve it everyday.

 

T = Time bound

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Time frames create a sense of urgency. When we feel that something is urgent and it has a deadline it encourages us to work harder to achieve/complete on time. Without that sense of urgency you start plodding along in life, never really getting anything done, your time is not prioritised and is not used efficiently. Let’s add a realistic time scale to our goal:

  • I am going to join a local gym, attend 4 times a week and do low to moderate intensity workouts while actively searching for other opportunities to stay fit and healthy, this will require me to plan my time accordingly,  because I want to be healthy and staying unhealthy can severely damage my future. I will measure this by reducing my body fat by 2% in the next 6 weeks.

This gives you 6 weeks to achieve the goal, some people like to set exact completion dates others just like to have a time scale. Remember it has to be a specific, you can’t just say you would like to do it sometime this year.

 

Have you made any SMART goals this year? What do you want to achieve throughout 2016? Let me know in the comments below…xx

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