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How To Set Goals ( The S.M.A.R.T) Way

When setting resolutions for the year ahead or trying to revamp your ongoing objectives for healthier living, you’re most likely faced with some major goal-setting. Effectively implementing goals is vital for success and statistics reveal that almost one-third of individuals who make resolutions in January abandon them within a week. Hence, it is imperative to establish SMART goals - goals that are Specific, Measurable,

Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.


Let’s break it down:


SPECIFIC

Setting vague goals like "I will start exercising" or "I will eat healthier" allows for too much interpretation due to their lack of specificity. Instead, precisely define your objectives by outlining what you aim to achieve, identifying who might be helping you, detailing the steps for each mini-task and anticipating obstacles.


These questions might help:

• What is the goal?

• How will this goal be achieved?

• Who will help me to achieve this goal?

• What are the success criteria for achieving this goal?


MEASURABLE

You have to be able to measure how you’re doing. Without a sense of progress, you’ll have a more difficult time staying committed to your goals. For example, setting a goal such as running a 5km race. Begin by starting with shorter distances, perhaps incorporating a walk-run strategy and seek guidance from a running coach or experienced runner to improve your technique. Develop a weekly running plan, gradually increasing your distance each week. With measurable progress, you'll eventually conquer the 5km milestone, providing a sense of accomplishment. This success can then pave the way for setting and achieving new fitness goals.


Questions that might help:

• Is it possible to measure this goal quantitatively?

• What tools or methods will be used to measure the success or failure of the goal?


ACHIEVABLE

Setting reasonable and realistic goals will make them easier to achieve. For example, replacing sugary sodas with sparkling water infused with natural flavors is specific, achievable and won't make you feel deprived, which can often trigger a return to unhealthy habits.


Helpful questions:

• Has anyone ever achieved it?

• What resources are needed?


RELEVANT

You’re looking at how your goal fits into your life in a way that syncs with what you’ve already got going. Consider setting a goal of working out intensely for two hours every day. While this goal may be specific and the daily exercise routine is measurable and potentially achievable, it could become a significant time commitment, making it challenging to fulfill work responsibilities or spend meaningful time with your family. Despite the satisfaction of achieving the exercise goal, it's important to reflect on what you might be sacrificing and, if necessary, adjust the larger aim to strike a balance that aligns with your overall priorities

and lifestyle.


These questions might help:

• Why is this goal beneficial to me?

• What is the priority level of this goal?


TIME-BOUND

Give yourself more time than you think you need and you’ll likely find it easier to maintain your momentum. But, at the same time, establish a deadline. That allows you to work backward when setting mini-goals. You’ll get a sense of urgency that way, which can make your time management more effective.


Helpful questions:

• How long will it take to complete the goal?

• What is the deadline for the completion of the goal?


Conclusion

SMART goals are invaluable for making strides toward achieving resolutions, whether in the gym, kitchen, work or home. It is also beneficial to concentrate on just one or two goals at a time, avoiding the attempt to overhaul your entire life simultaneously. Change is challenging, particularly when tackling too much at once.


Begin with small steps and gradually introduce lifestyle improvements. Remember, focusing on one goal at a time leads to more manageable and sustainable progress. Regularly review and adjust your goals as needed to ensure they stay relevant and achievable based on your evolving circumstances. Good luck with your goal-setting for the new year!


Zuzana Imrichova

Body Coach, Life Coach and NLP Practitioner

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