I May be Smart, but I ain't no Cookie
What are you working towards?
Do you know?
I’m not talking about aesthetics here (although that is a perfectly suitable goal).
Today I'm talking about what you're working for - the goals behind your goals.
In other words, do you know why your goals exist?
A really simple way to find yourself heading in the wrong direction is by making non-specific goals.
Goal setting has to be detailed because your mind doesn’t know how to complete tasks without being specific.
For example: you tell your brain to eat and your brain responds with “eat, eat what? Eat the grass? Eat the dirt? Eat that human?” (shout out to any walking dead fans).
Likewise, if you tell your brain to read it'll ask “read what? The tattoo, the book, those directions?”
Things have to be specific in order for your mind to comprehend them, and the same applies for the goals you set in health and fitness.
Saying something along the lines of “I want to be in better shape” is great, but what does that actually mean? What constitutes as being in "better shape" and what does that look like for you?
Here's some general goals you may be considering:
VO2 Max = increase it or decrease it? By how much?
Weight = loss or gain? How much? Target areas?
Strength/Mass = increase, decrease? What areas of the body?
Mass = increase, decrease? How much and what target areas?
Athletic Ability = what components: running, jumping, overall? What functions do you want to increase/decrease? Everyday life or competition based?
Think about your current goals and think about questions similar to the ones above; do you know the answers to those questions?
Studies show that those who can answer these questions, or those who have detailed goals, have a higher success rate. To do this you must be: S-M-A-R-T
S: Specific (what is your goal, why is that your goal, what are you targeting?)
M: Measurable (how will you measure progress/accomplishment? Scale, measuring tape, tracking daily weights lifted, tracking how you’re feeling in a workout journal?)
A: Attainable (how will you go about attaining this?)
R: Realistic (is achieving your goal realistic within the time-frame you have set? Is it realistic period?)
T: Timely (what is the timeline of which you want to achieve your goal?)
For example: some of you have purchased our “Sweating for the Wedding” or "Empowered" programs with the goal of weight loss. Here’s how S-M-A-R-T works for you:
S – specific: lose weight overall. Target buttocks and legs more thoroughly through incline walks/sprints, and various specific weightlifting movements.
Short-term goal = lose 10 lbs within 2 months. Attend the gym regularly 4 times each week, completing both cardio and strength training.
Long-term goals = lose 15 to 20 lbs within 4 months. Maintain gym attendance of 4 times weekly.
M – measurable: will take starting weight and measurements before I begin the program, and weigh in/measure once a week, every Friday morning, after using the loo and before eating or drinking. Will take weekly pictures to track visual changes.
A – attainable: by performing the designed programs you purchased and sticking to your outlined workout schedule and/or nutrition program
R – realistic: my goal is realistic as long as I follow the program/weight train 3 x each week and complete my weekly cardio while following the meal plan. Losing 15 to 20 lbs within a 4-month time frame is a healthy amount of weight loss (0.93 lbs to 1.25 lbs a week)
T – timely: 15 to 20 lbs. within 16 weeks (4 months). This equals 0.93 lbs to 1.25 lbs weekly.
You must make cognitive changes in order to be more specific, and more importantly, successful.
Homework this week:
Write down your goals and begin to think about why you have those goals. What made you come up with them? Start thinking s-m-a-r-t
As you begin to brainstorm write down what makes your goals s-m-a-r-t
Finalize your smart list and make a couple copies. Place these in areas that are easily visible - by your bed for you to see each morning and night. Inside the cupboard doors (easy for you to see but hidden from others). Try just printing a reminder word, like “Smart”, and place it in your car for you to see frequently. The reminder word will help you think of your goals each time you see it.
Need a hand reviewing your goals? Shoot us an email. We're here to help