Yesterday I tweeted a link to explain the importance of setting SMART goals.
So you've probably set some new year resolutions, but as we all know, sticking with them is usually the tough part! But why? Probably because your goals are not "SMART".
- S: If your goal isn't "specific" then how can you explain what it really is?
- M: You need to be able to measure progress towards your goals otherwise how do you know if you've met it?
- A: Set "attainable" goals, if you can't plan steps to reach your goals then your goal is probably too far reaching or too big, cut it down into something attainable, and then increment (more on that in a later post).
- R: Make sure your goals are "relevant" or "rewarding" to you, if they're not then don't be surprised when you lose interest and sack it off!
- T: Set "time based" goals, ones which have a target date, maybe an event or celebration, this will really help you focus.
So let's set some... here's 2 of my own gym goals for the next few months:
- To be able to deep squat 100kg within the first half of 2015.
- To reduce my body fat, such that I can see all my abs, within 6 months.
Do these meet my SMART definition, let's have a look:
- Specific: both outputs are pretty clear: 100kg deep squat; and see my abs.
- Measurable: 100kg is clearly measurable. Seeing my abs is less obvious but the best strategy here is to take pictures maybe once a month, this way visual progress can easily be measured.
- Attainable: I'm currently squatting just 80kg for 2 sets of 4 (not bad considering my injury history) so I believe getting up to 100kg for a single rep is achievable in 6 months. Likewise abs: for sustainable results past experience suggests a longer timeframe with slow and steady progress.
- Relevant/Rewarding: well that's a personal opinion, if I meet these two goals then that means I'm stronger and fitter: 2 things that are important to me.
- Time based: both gave a clear 6 month timeframe from January 2015, so that was easy.
So there you go, give yourself a better and more realistic chance of meeting your goals this year, and be SMART.