SMART goal-setting

One of the biggest obstacles we face in achieving our health and fitness goals is getting the mind and body working together to achieve them.

The mind is a key player in our success.  It might surprise you to hear that the most important part of getting fit is simply making up your mind to do it.  But let’s be clear, thinking positive alone isn’t enough – you’ve got to take action.

Propping up those positive thoughts with regular exercise and good nutrition will get you well on your way to reaching your fitness and wellness goals.

But to keep you on track for success you need to spend some time defining your goals.  Failing to define your goals is setting yourself up for nothing other than failure to reach them.

Goal set the SMART way and you’ll harness the limitless power of your subconscious mind and you’ll get your body and mind working together to achieve them.


Set Specific goals.

Specific goals have a more powerful impact on your subconscious than general goals.  Saying I want to lose body fat is a general goal.  Saying I want to lose five per cent body fat is specific.  Narrow your goal down and be as specific as possible.


Set Measurable goals.

If you are to succeed with your goals, you must be able to measure them objectively.  The scale is a useful tool, but it doesn’t always give you the big picture.

There are lots of ways to measure your success. Use your energy level as an indicator, the way your clothes fit, or your rate of recovery from a workout.  Reaching your ultimate goal involves measuring your progress along the way. Measure your progress regularly and use that information purely as feedback.


Set Awesome goals

Most personal trainers will encourage you to set attainable goals because it’s more likely that you’ll achieve them. Achieving a goal is good for your self-esteem.

I believe that to make a goal worth achieving you have to set it high.  Easily attainable goals aren’t motivating. Challenge yourself by setting a goal that scares you a little, so when you reach it you’ll really have something to celebrate.


Set Realistic goals.

Setting your goals high doesn’t mean they aren’t realistic. If you truly believe you can achieve your goal, then it’s a realistic one.


Set Timely goals

Setting your goals high is one thing, setting timely deadlines for them is another.  Be reasonable.  If your goal is to lose 70 pounds, don’t expect it to happen in a couple of months.  The established guidelines for healthy weight loss are one to two pounds per week.

That translates to about a half a percent per of body fat a week.

Achieving any goal takes planning.  By working backwards from your ultimate long-term goal, you can build a plan designed to support you every step of the way.

A simple guide for your planning:

1. Choose your ultimate long-term goal and reasonable date for achieving it.

2. Set a 12-month goal, if necessary.

3. Set three- month goals. These should have a sense of urgency to keep you on track towards achieving your 12-month goal, and then your ultimate goal.

4. Set weekly goals.  These goals keep you focused on the here and now. A good strategy is to measure your progress weekly so you know if you’re on track.

5. Set daily goals. These will be specific – workouts, activities, meal planning, rest. Every day matters when you’ve got a goal to achieve. Your daily goals should keep you focused on making the best decisions possible.  They’ll also help keep your ultimate goal in your conscious thoughts.

When your goal is present in your thoughts, you make better decisions to support it.

Reaching your goal is largely up to you, but having a strong support system and a plan in place can help see you through. Ask your family and friends to help you and give them specific ways to do so. Ask yourself how you’ll stay on track if your family and friends aren’t supportive. Ask yourself if you’re willing to make sacrifices to reach your goal. Ask yourself how you will push yourself past your comfort zones.  Most importantly, don’t let fear hold you back from achieving your personal best. Take the first step today. The only thing holding you back is you.


Tawnie Hayne is a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Specialist, TRX Instructor, and Kettlebell Trainer.  She is the owner of Total Body Training in Maple Ridge.

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