Scenario: You have gained a lot of pounds and you feel weak and unhealthy so you set a goal for yourself: to lose weight. After a week you feel very frustrated for having no progress at all because 1) you haven't lost a pound, 2) you haven't gone to the gym for 3 days, and 3) you just shoved two large hamburgers into your mouth for dinner because you skipped lunch and you are starving.
Maybe you're not being SMART?
One of the many things I learned from nursing school is the importance of setting S-M-A-R-T goals in caring for the hospitalized patient. You may have encountered this in some other way because this could be applied in many different situations. For this week's Transformation Tuesday, how do you set SMART goals if you are striving for a fit body and healthy lifestyle?
A S-M-A-R-T goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Let me explain each criterion while we transform your current goal into something that will not cause you frustration in the next few days.
SPECIFIC. Set a goal that is easy, clear, and straightforward. There is a greater chance of accomplishing a specific goal (to lose 10 lbs) than a general goal (to lose weight). Hone it to the fine point of what you really want. What do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve it? How are you going to achieve it?
MEASURABLE. Establish a number that you can measure to track your progress like how much weight you want to lose. This is the number that will determine your success when you attain it.
ATTAINABLE. It's frustrating when a goal you set for yourself is too far out of your reach. Consider your restrictions like the number of hours you could spend at the gym if you have kids to drive to school in the morning and a full time job.
REALISTIC. Losing 20 lbs in one week is not “doable” even for someone who regularly exercise. Be sure that the goals you set are something that you possibly can do.
TIME-BOUND. A goal has to have a deadline that must be both attainable and realistic. Setting a deadline motivates you to take an action and pushes you to accomplish your goal.
Your new goal: To lose 10 lbs in one month.
Remember that no one has ever achieved something big overnight. Everyone has to start at some point. Do you have a goal you are trying to reach? Share them in the comments section below!