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Be SMART about your goals

Are you feeling like you are in a rut with your workouts or weight loss goals? Maybe your workouts are not progressing the way you imagined they would when you crossed into 2018 and promised to take it up a notch this year? Or perhaps you are stalled with your weight loss and don’t know what the next step should be. As we reach the last quarter of 2018, it might be time to review where you are and set new goals based on what you have accomplished so far this year and where you want to be at the end of the year.

No matter how big or small your goals – whether it is losing 15 pounds, increasing your weight on the Keiser machines or in a group exercise class, or training for a half marathon – making a change requires taking the time to plan your course of action. Setting SMART goals can help you achieve your objectives.

SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting and will help ensure your goals are well defined and reachable.

Theodore-Roosevelt-Quote

Specific – your goal should be clear and easy to understand. A common goal, “get healthy’ is too general. There are many ways to get healthy – lose weight, exercise more, cut back on drinking. Your goal should be more specific – “I want to lose weight”.

Measurable – a goal needs to be quantifiable so you are able to track your progress. Making your goal measurable means adding a number – “I want to lose 15 pounds.”

Attainable – an attainable goal is the right mix of challenging but not extreme. Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go. While it’s good to be aggressive on your goal setting, make sure they are not over the top. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is not very motivating. With regards to losing weight, setting a percent of total body weight is a good way to make sure your goal is realistic. A measurable, attainable goal could be to lose 10% of your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, your weight loss goal will be 15 pounds.

Realistic – your goal must represent something you are willing and able to work towards. To help determine if something is realistic, think about if you have been able to accomplish similar goals in the past. Also think about the conditions that need to exist for you to be successful.

Timely – make sure you have an end date to your goal. The date should be realistic, but not too far in the future. For instance, you will not be able to achieve a 15 pound weight loss goal in two weeks but a 1-2 pounds per week goal (three months) is achievable.

Once you have set your SMART goal, here are a few more tips that will set you up for success:

  • Start with one goal. Research has shown that people who work towards one goal are more successful than those who set multiple goals. Once you achieve your first goal, you will be in the right frame of mind to set a new goal.
  • Make sure this is YOUR goal, not what someone else wants for you. Set a goal that is important to where you are in your life right now. If someone else is pressuring you to achieve a goal, that will not be very motivating for you.
  • Set a start date and highlight it on your calendar. Give yourself enough time on the front end to get everything in place so you are set up for success. This might include cleaning out your cabinets and shopping for healthy food, coming up with the right eating plan or planning your workout routine.
  • Try to have a cheerleader, someone who is going to talk you off the ledge when you want to eat that late-night snack of left over pizza or skip your morning workout. This could be a close friend, your spouse or a trainer at Body Kinetics. Having someone in your corner cheering you on will go a long way to helping you achieve your goal.
  • Set benchmarks for rewards and set them often. Rewards do not need to be expensive or over the top and avoid food-based rewards. If you lose weight your first week, reward yourself with a manicure or maybe purchase that new best seller you have been wanting to read. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate the successes that happen along the path to achieving your goal.
  • And most importantly, practice positive self-talk. Be your biggest cheerleader by changing the conversation in your head to a positive one, even if you have a setback. Turn a negative thought – “I only lost one pound this week” into a positive thought –“My hard work paid off this week and I lost a pound”. Here are some things you should be telling yourself each day (or your version of these ideas): I Rock! I am strong! I can achieve anything I set my mind to!

Achieving a goal and becoming a better version of yourself is something you can do and setting a SMART goal will help you with success. To quote Theodore Roosevelt “Believe you can and you're halfway there.”


This blog was written by Kelly Guyton, NASM Certified Personal Trainer at Body Kinetics Health Club of Mill Valley. 

To book a complimentary personal training session with Kelly Guyton call Body Kinetics Mill Valley at (415) 380-8787. Local, first time clients only, non-members welcome. 

Kelly brings a lifetime of enthusiasm for fitness as well as a goal-oriented approach to achieving results. Her philosophy is that you can get in shape at any age as long as you are willing to work hard, be open to new ways of training the body and have fun along the way.

In your first session, Kelly will get to know you and get a clear understanding of your short term and long term fitness and lifestyle goals. From there, she will design a program customized to achieving your goals. Assessments will be an on-going part of the process so that the training program can be progressed to your advancements. Your workouts will be fun but challenging and Kelly will push you beyond where you might normally go on your own to help ensure you meet your goals.

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