In the first blog of this series, I discussed motivation and finding your “Why”, if you have not read this blog, go back, read it, apply it and then come back and read this! Too often, people make the mistake of not spending enough time goal setting. The high level of motivation kicks in and people slack on goal setting because they are so eager to get started. I can promise you that is a good way to lose focus and fall off course. When setting goals, take your time and make SMART goals. SMART goals follow this acronym:
Starting with Specific, it is important to answer the following 5 questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
Under this question, you will write down something like, “I want to lose 30 pounds” or “I want to lose 30 pounds of body fat and gain 5 pounds of muscle.”
- Why do I want to accomplish this?
Hint: If you read Losing Weight and Keeping It Off- Finding Your “Why”, you will already have this answer!
- Who is involved?
While at first this may seem silly but it is actually a very valid question. Obviously you are involved but this also involves family and friends that will be supporting you as well as any health/fitness professional that may be helping you as well (i.e. personal trainer, dietician, etc.)
- Where will I pursue this goal?
This is where you will be working out such as a big commercial gym, small gym, home gym, apartment gym, etc..
- Which resources are available to accomplish this goal?
These resources piggyback off the previous 2 question in some ways because these resources include, equipment at you place of working out, any professional assistance, etc.
When it comes to a goal being measurable, you need to make sure you have a way to measure your progress. When it comes to weight loss, the main thing you will need is a scale so that you can measure and see how much weight you have lost. Other tools that are helpful include a body fat % caliper or device, measuring tape for circumference measurements and progress photos so you can see how your looks change as you progress.
The achievable aspect of the goal is more of a “look in the mirror” to see how motivated you are to achieve this goal. Often times in this stage, people will ask themselves “Do I think I can achieve this goal?” I’ll give you a hint, if the answer is no, then go back and determine your “Why”!
Some questions that people ask when determining if this goal is relevant are:
“Is this worthwhile?”
“Does this improve my quality of life?”
“Is this the right time?”
If the answer to any of those questions is “no”, why is it no? If you’re doubting yourself, it would be beneficial to enlist a source of accountability such as a reliable workout buddy or a personal trainer.
The timeframe piece of this is something that should address both short term goals and long term goals. For example, if I want to lose 1-2 pounds per week, where should I be in 4 weeks? 8 weeks? 12 weeks? 6 months? Write down the goals for all of those time frames.
Now that you have set your SMART Goals, it’s time to dive into the Science of Weight Loss!