Fitness Goal Setting
Was this the year you were going to get into shape for your family? Have you met that goal? For many women, life can get in the way of keeping resolutions, goals and dreams to get in better shape. In order to stick with anything – especially something that can be hard work – we have to have goals . Setting goals allows you to see the bigger picture, to keep going when your workouts are hard, or you aren’t in the mood.
We all practice goal setting at one level or another – even just saying “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to get in shape” is a simple form of goal setting – but to be successful, we need to go further than that.
The problem is that setting a simple goal like “I want to lose weight” is too vague, it has no specifics to it, so we can easily fudge it. You’ve managed to lose a pound? Well that’s success, you’ve lost weight!
How do you avoid this? By setting specific goals. For example, if you want to “get in shape”, what does that mean? How many workouts per week? What type of workouts? How much weight loss? By when?
Having these very specific targets is very powerful, and helps us to focus our energy and attention much better. The most commonly used tool for this is what are termed SMART goals. SMART goals are used in numerous areas, from work to weight loss, school to sports.
SMART is an acronym that stands for:
S = Specific M = Measurable A = Attainable R = Realistic T = Timely
We’ll look at each of these in turn, applying them to a common goal – weight loss.
Specific: The first part of goal setting is to set goals that are very clear – they should emphasize exactly what you want to happen, including detail. Use questions like What, Why, and How.
For example: WHAT are you going to do? Lose weight.
WHY is this important to you right now? For example, to look better, be healthier, etc.
HOW are you going to do it? By exercising more, improving your diet, etc.
Measurable: Making goals measurable is essential. If you can’t measure it, you won’t know if you’ve achieved it! Weight loss lends itself naturally to progressive goals – for example, to lose 5 pounds in one month, 12 pounds in three months, and so on. The more detailed and measurable a goal is, the better.
Attainable: Our brain is very good at working towards goals, but they must be attainable. If we know that they are simply out of reach, we will quickly quit. For that reason, you need to set goals that will stretch you, but that nonetheless seem possible.
Realistic: To succeed we need to be motivated, and realistic goals provide great motivation. We understand that we can achieve them with effort, and as we move towards them, that sense of achievement keeps us motivated. So never eating chocolate again might be unrealistic for you, having it just once per week might be much more do-able.
Timely: Finally, your goals need a clear end point. Having a definite ending point makes sure that we don’t backslide. With no end point we can procrastinate forever, but if we have a deadline of losing 10 pounds in three months, we can clearly focus and work towards it.
If you are seeking the ultimate challenge and ready to achieve goals you’ve been putting off for years, register for the Atlantic Moms Fitness Challenge (www.AtlanticMoms.com), the only fitness challenge of its kind for moms. Win cash and prizes just for getting in the best shape of your life!
Vianesa Vargas of Take Care Project Inc brings wellness products to help busy moms to be their very best. Find informative exercise/nutrition tips and articles on a wide range of topics for mom on Vianesa’s
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