Whatever your health and fitness goals may be, we usually have an end goal in mind. We want to lose weight...maybe we want to fit in a specific pair of jeans...maybe we want to look great for an upcoming wedding. It's great that you've decided you want to make a change and lose weight - great! But in my 3 years of coaching, I have learned that the real problem with long term success isn't the diet itself, it's that you're likely not setting goals properly. So, let me ask you - are you setting the right goals?
Here are some goals that are NOT specific enough goals...
"I want to lose weight"
"I want to look better"
"I want to eat healthier."
"I want to tone up."
If you want real, long term success with your fitness goals, you need to turn those goals (like the ones listed above) into SMART goals.
The acronym SMART stands for the following:
S - Specific. Is the goal specific enough?
goal: I want to lose weight
smart goal: I want to lose 20 pounds.
M - Measurable. Is this measurable? Wanting to look better is too generic of a goal to be measured. Ask yourself how you would measure your progress with your goal)
goal: I want to lose weight
smart goal: I want to lose weight 20 pounds by keeping track of my weekly weigh ins to assess my progress.
A - Attainable. Is this goal something you can truly achieve?
goal: I want to eat low carb forever. Now, depending on your personality and dietary references, eating a low carb diet may be sustainable for you. But if you enjoy eating bagels, an occasional glass of wine, some crackers, etc. then telling yourself you'll eat low carb forever is not attainable or realistic.
R - Realistic. Similar to attainable. Is the goal you are setting realistic for you, your life, your schedule, your wants and desires, etc.?
goal: I want to lose 40 pounds in 2 months. This is likely not a realistic goal for most people. You don't want to set yourself up for failure by having an irrational, unrealistic goal and time frame to reach that goal.
smart goal: I want to lose 1 lb. a week, which will get me close to an 8 lb. weight loss in 2 months.
T - time-bound. What's the time frame you are giving yourself to reach that goal?
goal: I want to lose 20 pounds.
smart goal: I want to lose 20 pounds in 5 months.
If we put some of these examples into one fluid SMART goal, it would look something like this:
I want to lose 20 pounds in 5 months by keeping track of my weigh ins every week. In order to reach my goal on time, I will need to lose about 1 lb. per week.
Some other questions to consider when you are setting goals for yourself:
How important is this goal to you? Do you genuinely want this change?
Are you giving yourself enough time and resources to get there?
Do you have a timeline when you want to accomplish XYZ?
Really ask yourself if is truly realistic for you & your lifestyle?
Hope this was helpful!