It is very common to be over-eager when initially choosing our fitness and health goals, often with the notion of “shoot for the moon, land among the stars.” And to a point, we agree, but we can’t get to the moon, or even the stars, without knowing which tools we have in our tool belts, which tools we don’t, how to get the ones we’re missing, and which vehicles would be best suited for our “trip.”
This is why we need to design S.M.A.R.T. goals:
For example, if your goal is to lose weight and feel better, it needs to be further broken down into HOW much weight. You don’t just want to lose weight. You want to lose 30 pounds.
How are we going to track our progress? In the world of sales, they say that “a tracked number grows.” A more accurate statement would be that “tracked goals are achieved.” Oftentimes, we think we are making more progress than we are. If we don’t track, we can’t manage progress or set-backs.
Tracking doesn’t have to be numerical (nor should it solely be!). Choose to focus on how your clothes fit, how much energy you have, if you feel the need for a nap in the middle of the day, etc. Losing excess weight will help you achieve all these things too, so if these are improving, chances are you are getting closer to your goal.
Are you physically able to do (or learn how to do) whatever it is you desire to? Almost any goal is achievable; but for example, if you are wheelchair-bound, you might not be able to achieve a goal to squat your body weight. Do not be shy when designing your goals, and don’t let your sorrow or self-pity deter you from setting high goals. DREAM BIG, but use your noggin.
Is your goal realistic? Do you want to lose 30 pounds in three months, or do you want to lose 100 pounds in three months? For safe, lasting weight loss, it is strongly recommended that you should only aim to lose 1-2 pounds a week. In three months, that’d be 24 pounds. Not only would striving for a 100 pound weight loss in three months be exceptionally unhealthy, there’s no promise you’d be physically able to do so in the first place or maintain the habits to keep you there. It takes 3500 calories burned to shed one pound of body weight.
3500kcal = 1lb body weight
This applies whether you are adding or subtracting weight. Chasing extreme weight loss faster than the recommended time (1-2 pounds a week), can cause your body to revolt, slow your metabolism, and leave you depleted, and leaves you with a very high risk of regaining that weight and undoing all “progress” once you return to “normal,” and potentially binge, “celebrate,” etc.
And lastly, set a date. A goal is only a dream, a wish, a hope, if there is no date attached. Choose an event, a race, an obstacle course race, a trip, etc. Decide what you want to achieve, if you are physically able to, when you want to achieve it, and then, based on the time available, make sure it is realistic and your training and program will fit within the parameters set by you and your coach (read: us 😉).
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals are hard. That’s what we do here at C-FIT Studio. Call us, and set up a complementary strategy session. The moment you can transform your dreams into tracked goals with a deadline, it becomes real, and your transformation and growth can begin. You can do it; we will help.