Yesterday I talked about ways to make your resolutions stick and what you needed to do to make a clear vision of who and what you wanted to be in 2015. Part of that plan was figuring out how you were going to get there. What you needed to do to become your best self in 2015. That step requires you to set goals. And, in order to set goals that you are more likely to stick to, you need to set SMART goals.
So what exactly is a SMART goal?
I am so glad you asked!
A SMART goal has the following 5 characteristics:
Lay out exactly what you are going to do. If the vision you created for yourself is to weigh 175 labs and you want to exercise 4 days a week, then that would be the specifics of your SMART goal.
The measurable part of the goal is the 4 days per week. But you are going to want to get more specific with the measurable part and state for how long you want to exercise. Rather than saying, “I will exercise 4 days a week.” You want to say, “I will exercise 4 days a week for 45 minutes.”
Exercise can be many different activities. Are you going to exercise by going to the gym, or walking in your neighborhood, or doing a yoga video in your room. What ever action you plan to take you need to state it specifically. By doing this, your goal goes from “I will exercise 4 days a week for 45 minutes.” To, “I will exercise 4 days a week for 45 minutes by walking my neighborhood at a brisk pace.”
This is a really important aspect of the SMART goals. It has to be realistic. You have to feel like it is something you can do. Start by asking yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely am I to complete this goal. If you are below a 5 on your confidence then you may want to adjust your goal. Rather than 45 minutes of walking bring it down to 20 minutes. You can always increase your time once you build up your endurance and confidence. Remember, your goals need to be doable in order for you to succeed. Don’t try to run a marathon without the proper training. You need to build up to it.
Along with being measurable you also need to state exactly when you are going to exercise. Will you exercise Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. What time of the day? Morning or Evening? Take your goal from, “I will exercise 4 days a week for 20 minutes by walking my neighborhood at a brisk pace.” To, “I will exercise 4 days a week for 20 minutes by walking my neighborhood at a brisk pace, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 8:00 – 8:20 AM.”
And there you have it! You have created your SMART goal and are 1 step closer to capturing the vision you created yourself for 2015. Cheers to you being your best happy, healthy, and well self!