Selecting SMART goals is the key to keeping momentum and staying motivated. Today, we’re accustomed to instant gratification. When people set big goals, even though they know amazing results takes patience, many lose motivation when they can’t measure their progress. So while I’m not encouraging you to shy away from big, life-changing goals, I am encouraging you to choose SMART goals that will keep you motivated to follow through (especially when your goals are related to health and fitness).
What are SMART Goals?
SMART Goals generate energy, enthusiasm and results. A SMART Goal is Small, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Time sensitive.
A SMART Goal is a goal than can be broken into smaller pieces. Think “bite-sized.” Break your big goals for the year into smaller goals that can be accomplished in two to four weeks or less. Choose something that will excite you, make you feel good about what you’ve accomplished, and motivate you to continue moving forward.
Make sure each goal you set has measure. Think of it this way: would an outsider be able to evaluate whether or not you achieved your goal (without having to take your word for it)? Apply a numerical value to your goal. For a fitness goal, this might mean exercising X times per week, or decreasing your body fat to X%. When a goal has measure, you can feel a greater sense of achievement knowing you’ve accomplished it.
Be aware that there’s a difference between goals that are “possible” and goals that are “achievable.” Sure, it might be “possible” for a person with bad knees and a disdain for running to win the Boston Marathon, but is it realistic? When setting a goal, take into consideration what is required to achieve it. Your goals should push you, but they should also be attainable, healthy, and aligned with your priorities.
Identify any positive side effects, benefits, and rewards for reaching your goal – no matter how small they are! Make a list of these benefits as a reminder of what you’re working toward. This way, each time you check a goal off your list, you’ll feel a sense of confidence and momentum.
5.) Time sensitive
Set a date by which you will achieve each of your goals. When we set a deadline, our goal becomes a priority, and we gain focus. A goal without a definite deadline simply weakens our commitment.
Take a look at your list of goals and reconfigure them into SMART Goals. You’ll be surprised by the motivation and momentum you’ll gain as you knock them off your list one by one!