With nearly 60% of the population considered obese or overweight, losing weight has never been more important. Millions of people make weight loss their number one priority, only to give up in frustration soon after. Research has indicated that failed weight-loss attempts are not a result of a lack of willpower, rather a by-product of poor planning. If you are like me, you have countless experiences of setting goals, like losing weight or building muscle, and succeed with minimal results at best.
Don’t let your past failed weight loss attempts deter you from setting new health and fitness goals. Instead, read on to learn about setting goals that put you on the path to weight loss success.
S.M.A.R.T goals, your success depends on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are used in business, manufacturing, and industry to achieve amazing results; using these goals in your personal life will put you on the road the health and fitness in no time.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed; in terms of goal-setting, it accounts for all the areas we tend to forget. Consider the normal weight loss goals of: “I am going to exercise more” or I am going to lose weight”. While at their core, each goal is meaningful, they both lack the strategic planning to make it happen.
Let’s take “I am going to lose weight” and “S.M.A.R.T.en” it up a bit.
Specific goals answer questions, including why and how you are going to do this. So, using our example:
I want to feel better and be more active. I will lose weight by exercising four times a week.
Measurable goals allow us to chart our progress; without them, we are just along for the ride. Here is our Specific, Measurable goal:
I want to feel better and be more active. I will lose 100 pounds by exercising four times a week.
So, our goal is now specific and measurable, but is it attainable or realistic? I guess that depends on the individual, but rather than risk it, I would rephrase our goal to reflect something a bit more realistic:
I want to feel better and be more active. I will lose 4 pounds a week by exercising 30 minutes a day, four times a week.
A goal needs to make sense for the person setting it; it also needs to take into consideration what you enjoy or want to achieve. Here is how we add relevance to our specific, measurable, attainable goal:
I want to have more energy and run a 5k race. I will lose 4 pounds a week by jogging or strength-training for 30 minutes a day, four times a week.
Adding a time to your goal ensures you have a finish line to shoot for. So, looking at our goal, we now have a final S.M.A.R.T. goal of:
I want to have more energy and run a 5k race in July. I will lose 4 pounds a week by jogging or strength-training for 30 minutes a day, four times a week. I will lose 100 pounds by July 1st.
Let’s look back at our original goal to see the difference. Original goal: I will lose weight.
So, use S.M.A.R.T goals to set your new goals and be a part of the growing group of successful people who use these detailed goals to improve their health and quality of life!