How to Set Attainable Health and Fitness GoalsBy Ejiro Ogenyi
Published: January 12, 2015
Health + Wellness
A goal is like a beacon, it is a destination to which all your actions are geared.
Whether you have ever written it down or not, you have a vision for what you want your life to be like. Today’s goal is to guide you to put down the vision you have for your health on paper, so that you can clarify it and start working towards it.
Why Having a Goal is Important
Success at anything in life is a habit. It is one that is cultivated out of conscious choices that are made each day towards the attainment of the goals that you have for yourself. To begin to make those conscious choices requires that you have a goal in the first place, and that is what makes having a goal so important.
A goal is the beacon that allows you to make the daily conscious choices that will help you get to whatever destination you see for yourself. Whether you want to become the CEO of your own company or, like we are trying to do here, lead the most Radiant and Healthy life that you are capable of.
The Components of an Effective Goal
For a goal to get you to your destination, it first needs to be effective. An effective goal is one that you choose for yourself, that you are willing and proactive about sharing with the people that are important to you, and that you reward yourself for or whose achievement is its own reward. These three things are the first part of what are known as Super SMART goals.
Super SMART goals are effective because they are connected to what you want for yourself and because they are:
- Specific. Specificity is key because you know what you achieve when you have achieved it. For example, I want to lose two inches off my waist or I want to lose 10kg to get within a healthy weight are more specific than I want a smaller waist or I want to get healthy respectively.
- Measurable. You have to be able to measure your goal to determine if you are making progress towards it. From the previous example, two inches off your waist or ten pounds are units of measure that you can use to evaluate your progress towards your goal.
- Adjustable. Adjustability acknowledges one of the simple truth of Murphy’s Law – “whatever can go wrong would.” This doesn’t mean that you start off the journey to your goal being a pessimist; it just means that you are realistic to the fact that there might be obstacles that will cause you to slow down or halt and reevaluate altogether. Making your goal adjustable allows you the flexibility to do this. Going with the same example, if you find that you have lost two inches even before the end of your goal period you can adjust to lose more. Conversely, if you find that you are not losing any weight on the scale but your clothes are fitting more loosely, you can choose to start using inches as your units of measure since it means that your body composition is changing.
- Realistic. Realism is key to the setting of any effective goal. This is because it stops you from setting yourself up for failure even before you have begun. An example of setting yourself up for failure is committing to losing 30 kg in 30 days. It is an unrealistic goal especially if you’ve never gone on a diet before.
- Time-Bound. Making your goal time-bound makes your goal effective because you can’t maintain the motivation to work on your goal forever. This means that you need to set a time to achieve the goal or at least a time to measure your progress towards that goal.
How to Craft YOUR Effective Goal
Here is a step-by-step process for crafting your effective goal:
- Identify what is important to you with respect to your health and your body to start to get ideas about how you want to move in that direction in the next 30 days.
- Pick a Radiant Buddy. Select someone you trust who you can share your goal with once you are done setting it. This helps you set up another layer of accountability for yourself.
- Select an appropriate reward that you can give yourself when you have achieved your goal.
- Make it Specific: Select one of the ideas from Step 1 that you will like to work on first. Make it as specific as possible so that you know what you are trying to achieve
- Make it Measurable: Select a metric that you will use to measure your achievement of your selected goal from Step 4. You want a metric that you can measure easily and that will help you clearly identify if you are making progress.
- Make it Adjustable: Identify any obstacles that might come in the way of you achieving your goal and come up with ideas for adjustments that can be made to allow you to still get to where you want to go.
- Make Sure it’s Realistic: Answer this question – are you shooting for the stars or is your goal something you can achieve with a reasonable amount of effort? If you are shooting for the starts, go back to the drawing board and make your goal more realistic, otherwise move to Step 8.
- Make it Time-Bound: Set a deadline to achieve your goal or at least a deadline to evaluate your progress towards your goal.
- Put your goal in an easy to read sentence format.
- Share your goal with your Radiant Buddy.
Time to Take Action:
Take some quiet time to yourself and use what you now know to craft your own effective Super SMART goal. Remember to evaluate it for effectiveness along the following criteria:
- Is it true to what you really want?
- Have you selected a Radiant Buddy?
- Have you set up a reward?
- Does it pass the Super SMART test by ensuring it fits the criteria for Steps 4 – 8?
- Have you shared it with your trusted person per Step 10?
If you would like to participate in our free 30-Day Body Reboot Challenge to transform your body and your health, click here to learn more.
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