Fitness

How to Set a (SMART) Goal

What’s up everyone? I am Demetrius, and I have another message.  As I mentioned in this post, you need to set goals, because they literally give you purpose and direction in life. Without them you will literally accept any influential idea that comes your way, and these ideas are generally not formed with your self interest in mind. It’s a really good post, so go ahead and check it out and leave me feedback. Today I will be adding on to that post by showing you how to set a goal using the S.M.A.R.T. method. It is not an original idea of mine, but I have used it to achieve academic, personal, and professional goals.

What Is Smart?

Smart in this situation doesn’t mean intelligent, but the S.M.A.R.T. system is a great technique designed to help you set actionable goals. The acronym stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. I will give a brief description of each

Specific

Specific means knowing exactly what you want to achieve. It’s not enough to want to lose weight because technically if you go to bed on an empty stomach you will be lighter when you wake up in the morning. A more specific goal is “I want to lose 20 pounds in 4 months”.

Measurable

The measurable aspect of this process takes you specific goal (i.e. lose 20 pounds) and breaks it into smaller, shorter-term goals. In this situation you want to lose 20 pounds in the longer- term, so a short term goal would be to lose about 2 pounds a week. Smaller goals give you quick gratification and can keep you on track for your big goals, because you are able to see the progress that you are making.

Attainable

Attainable is another way of asking if your goal is realistic. It may not be realistic for you to lose 100 pounds in 6 months, but it also shouldn’t take you 6 months to lose 6 pounds. You generally want to set your goals high so that you even if you don’t achieve it 100% percent, you push yourself at a higher level than if you had set a lower standard and easily achieved it.

Relevant

This is where you basically have a gut-check moment and decide if the goal is really important to you. If your main priority is losing weight, then increasing your bench press might not be important to you during this time period. You need to be able to determine if a goal is relevant or not so that you’re not putting your time and energy into something that is a poor investment.

Timely

Putting a time limit to your goal makes it real. It’s easy to talk about what you’re going to do when you have no time limit. This is why you hear people say, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow” and a week later they still haven’t changed anything. When you set your goal to a time, it adds pressure and holds you accountable. This is a good thing because we perform better under a moderate amount of pressure compared to no pressure or too much pressure. This performance curve demonstrates my point.

HebbianYerkesDodson.svgThis is the Yerkes-Dodson law for those of you who are into science.

As you can see, the S.M.A.R.T. system has 5 components: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. A good goal incorporates all 5 parts of this method and by doing so, you greatly increase the odds of accomplishing what you set out to do. Although this is a fitness-oriented blog, a lot of the stuff I talk about can be applied to life in general. You might want to design a website or learn a foreign language, but you can still take this information and use it how you see fit. A goal is a goal. Like, comment, subscribe.  I’m out.

 

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