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Be smart about your goals

Posted: March 11th, 2016 | Featured, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle | No Comments

By Blake and Gwen Beckcom

SMART goals — defined as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound — have been used in the corporate world since the early 1980s. The concept has stood the test of time because it works.

Blake and Gwen Beckcom

Blake and Gwen Beckcom

Anyone can set goals without these criteria, but if goals aren’t clearly defined and geared toward your real objective, you’ll likely lose interest. Also, if you’re not sure they’re achievable and you have no way to measure progress, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and confusion along the way. We are now into the third month of 2016. How are you faring thus far on your goals? SMART goals give you the tools to make sure you’re setting the right goals, making steady progress and reaching the desired outcome.

While SMART goals are typically used in personal development, project management and employee performance scenarios, this concept may be useful outside the corporate world. Why not set SMART goals to help you follow through with your New Year’s resolutions?

Resolution to meet your resolutions

If you typically make resolutions but seldom follow through, you’re not alone. It is now March, and already, many are falling by the wayside. It’s easy to start out enthusiastically, especially with common goals like getting in shape. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get off track and lose your motivation. That’s where SMART goals come in.

Be specific 

Specific goals outline the details of what you’re trying to accomplish. To do this, you need to state your overall objective (such as, getting in shape in 2016) and answer a few key questions like who’s involved (you and your family), what you want to accomplish (lose 15 pounds by May 31), why it’s important (feel better, look better), and where, how and when you’ll take action (work out at the gym and at home six days per week).

Make it measurable

Measuring progress is the only way to make sure you’re on track to meet your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds by the end of April, how will you know if you’re on the right track if you don’t step on a scale? While it’s best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning, you can decide how many times per week you’ll weigh in, but make sure you stick to it and write it down.

Be sure it’s achievable and relevant

Goals geared toward your main objective must be achievable and relevant. For example, if your objective is to get in shape in 2016, setting a goal to become a world-class body builder in six months probably wouldn’t be achievable or relevant. However, the goal of losing 15 pounds by April 30 fits both criteria.

Add a time frame

Committing to a deadline with milestones along the way will help keep you accountable for staying on track. If you start out thinking you have the whole year to accomplish your goal, you’ll be much more likely to procrastinate.

—Blake and Gwen Beckcom run Fitness Together Mission Hills. Contact them at fitnesstogether.com/missionhills.

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