When you’re working toward optimal health, goal-setting is essential to your success. Of course, the kind of goals you set also makes a huge difference. Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Timely.
Here is your guide to setting S.M.A.R.T. health goals!
Having a specific goal in mind will help you determine exactly what you need to do to reach it. “Getting healthy” may seem like a good goal, but it’s not specific enough to guide your actions. Instead, think in more exact terms. If you want to lose weight, get specific: do you want to lose 10 pounds? 30 pounds? 50 pounds? If you want to exercise more, does that mean working out three times a week, or does it mean lengthening your workout sessions? Make your goal as specific as possible so you know exactly what you’re working to accomplish!
Setting a goal that allows you to measure your progress will help you stay on-track. For example, it’s hard to track if you’re getting closer to “healthy,” but you can track how close you’re getting to losing twenty pounds. Of course, weight loss isn’t the only health goal you could set. Your goal could also be fitness-related, such as adding ten pounds to your deadlift or shaving five seconds off of your mile-time. Whatever your health focus may be, make sure that your goals are measurable so you can see yourself progressing!
It’s good to have big goals, but setting an unattainable goal will leave you feeling defeated when you inevitably fall short. Make sure your health goals are things you can realistically attain. If you have lofty goals that are attainable but will take a long time, break them down into smaller goals so you have milestones to celebrate along the way!
Setting a reasonable goal for yourself is important. You want your goals to challenge you, but not so much that you end up making yourself miserable or quitting altogether. For example, setting a goal to go to the gym seven days a week is probably not a reasonable goal for someone who has never worked out before, but going two to three times a week might be. Evaluate your goals to make sure they’re things you can reasonably sustain over a long period of time.
Finally, it’s important to have a time attached to your goal. Having a time that you want to reach your goal will motivate you to stay on-track. Of course, the attainability and reasonability of your goal needs to carry through to your time-table. Setting a goal to go from never running to running a six minute mile in a week is neither reasonable nor attainable. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to reach your goals!
Setting S.M.A.R.T. health goals will be invaluable as you work toward optimal health. For more tips for transforming your life, subscribe to the blog and check out our Facebook page!