SMART Goals and Resolutions
Have you made your resolutions yet? Is it going to be the best year ever?
I feel like there are 2 camps on resolutions - you either love making them (new year, new you kinda people) or you hate them. I'm in both camps. I love the idea of resolutions, but after the first week or so they really don't mean much. That's why today I'm going to talk about SMART goals instead of resolutions.
What are SMART goals? SMART goals are a better, actionable way of setting goals, and it's an acronym. SMART stands for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REASONABLE, & TIMELY.
Your goal should be SPECIFIC. 'I'm going to work out' isn't a very specific goal. What exercise will you do? For how long? How many times per week? Do you have an end result you'd like to reach? The more specific you can be with your goal, the better you can be about actually reaching your goal and integrating it into your life. A specific goal would be 'I will go for a 30 minute run twice a week, and I will lift weights for 45 minutes twice a week'. This gives you waypoints and sets you up for the second part of a SMART goal.
Your goal should be MEASURABLE. Write down those numbers. 'I'm going to work out' doesn't have any measurables. How will you know your progress? How will you know when you've achieved your goal? If you say 'by the end of 2017, I will be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping, and I will be able to bench 200 lbs. I will do this by running twice a week for 30 minutes and going to the gym twice a week to lift weights for 45 minutes.' This not only gives you the end result, but also sets you up so you can say 'for January and February I will run once a week for 20 minutes, for March and April I will run twice a week for 20 minutes, for May and June I will run twice a week for 30 minutes'. It allows you to work up to your goals and see real progress.
Your goal should be ATTAINABLE. Can you actually reach your end result? Or close to it? It might not be attainable to say you'll buy a nice house in a nice neighborhood when you have 0 savings and bad credit. Working to reach a certain credit score and save $X would be a better goal (and you'll be able to have those specifics and measureables in there). If you don't even run, it might not be realistic to say you'll run a marathon in August. If you're not sure what you can reach, consult a professional. If you're serious about your goal, having them help you set up a plan may be your best route.
Your goal should be REASONABLE. I'm not using this word in the traditional sense, but I can't break the adjective pattern. You need to have a reason for your goal. Because if you don't know why you're doing something, why would you do it? What's going to keep you going when things get difficult? 'I'm going to work out so I can live a long healthy life for my loved ones' or 'I'm going to become better with my money and save up so I can buy the house my family deserves' have reason to them. Even if your reasoning for working out is to look hot for vacation, at least it's a reason (hopefully though you'll also have longer lasting reasons, because after vaca, then what?). You need a reason behind every goal to be successful.
Your goal should be TIMELY. Give your goal parameters. Do you want to reach a point by the end of the year, or do you have an event before then? Do you want to run 5k by July so you can participate in a charity run? Or do you simply want to be healthier, so you'll set yourself a goal for the end of the year? Either way, setting up time parameters will help you create waypoints and successful steps towards your end goal.
I know this may not be as much fun as a simple New Years resolution, but being able to look back next New Years Eve and see all you've accomplished is way better.
So what are your SMART goals for 2017? Leave them in the comments below :) And have a very happy new year!!