Too often we invest our time, hard work, and money into products or services without setting expectations on what we hope to achieve or obtain. Sometimes our expectations do not align with our investments and can be more easily achieved by doing less. In order for less work to equate to more results, it is important to carefully choose your goals and properly plan your diet and exercise around them.
The SMART acronym ensures that goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Specific goals allow you to adjust your diet and exercise to suit your needs (ex. if your goal is to do 10 unassisted push-ups, you can choose to target the muscles in the core/upper body that are used to perform a push up). The most rewarding part of setting goals is the sense of accomplishment we get when we have reached them.
If a goal is not quantifiable, or measurable, it becomes a guessing game as to when we have officially reached it, thus leading to less satisfaction.
Attainability pertains to the idea that a goal is within a person’s means (ex. if your goal is to improve your swimming lap time by 30 seconds, access to a pool will directly affect your ability to work toward that and is therefore a necessary tool that you will use to reach your goal).
Whether it is choosing what time frames to allow yourself to work with, or choosing how much weight you want to lose or how much faster you want to become, being realistic with your goals will lead to more success and allow you to set more advanced goals for the future. Very few things come to fruition without deadlines being set, in fact, most people do not set goals without one.
Aside from setting unrealistic deadlines (ex. lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks before a wedding), the majority of people rarely consider setting a start time/date for their goals. Without setting a day to officially start, you are leaving yourself with the greatest excuse of all: tomorrow. Practice being timely by setting a start time/date as well as an end time/date. You are then forced to be on task the moment you choose your goal.