What are Goals?
Goals are set by everyone. They don’t need to be fitness related, personal and business goals such as new career, better standard of living and hitting a sales target are goals which are repeatedly set by many. They’re not just exclusive to major changes either. We can set targets to save “x-amount” over the course of a year, finally, have that family holiday or even just to get up out of bed when the alarm goes off without hitting the snooze button 3 times.
Goals change your mindset because they change your focus, generally are long-term targets with smaller targets set up along the way to help us achieve the bigger/main goal.
Setting SMART goals
OK so we’ve established a goal(s), are something which we want to change or want to achieve. Now what? Well, the first step would be writing these down. Before we do that though let’s use a common method that’s widely established throughout different industries for setting our goals. That method is by using the “SMART” principle. The section below will take you through the acronym and what each letter means.
Specific – What is the actual target “specifically” I know this probably sounds like an obvious question but ask people for goals and there will be some vagueness in there, normally seen when someone sets a fitness related goal “I want to lose some weight” or “I want to be fitter” Specifically though is there a number that you want to lose? 7lbs? 1 stone? Specifically, how do you measure your fitness? Is there a competition you want to take part in? A race that you want to run? or an event you want to attend? We need to make sure we’ve got ‘well-defined goals’
Measurable – OK so we’ve set a specific goal(s) we now need to make sure that we can measure our progress towards this goal otherwise how are you going to know if you’ve achieved your target. Measurements can be anything – Money, weight loss/gain on the scales, body measurements, dress sizes lost. If we can track it and the progress then it’s measurable.
Achievable – Whilst it’s OK to have goals which will test you we need to ensure these targets can be achieved. Knowing that the goal can be achieved is a massive confidence boost.
Relevant – This section can cause some confusion when understanding SMART goals and how they work. You’re looking to set a goal for yourself which needs to be specific, measurable and achievable but at the same time, we need to make sure that any other goals which we’re setting work with and alongside our overall goal.
Time-Based – Finally a timescale. When do we want to achieve our goal(s) by? Is there a deadline that you have given yourself? Again we need to make sure that it’s realistic otherwise you’re not going to succeed. Giving yourself a time constraint will also add some urgency to it.
It’s worth pointing out that it’s normally best to set smaller goals to ensure that we stay on track for reaching our overall goal. Mini events or milestones to help make sure that we stay on track and can celebrate the smaller victories as well as the overall larger victory.
So there we go, Goal setting. You should find that by applying the SMART principles to any goals which need setting will be the difference between success and failure.