Spring season is here! (Fingers crossed that it starts to feel like spring too!) Now is about the time when the excitement of a New Year’s Resolution has long worn off, but the reality of warmer weather, different activities, and less clothes is starting to sink in. With that, comes a second wave of “I’ve got to get my butt in gear”. And instead of just blindly jumping into something or setting a goal like “get in shape”, or “lose weight”, I want to help give some pointers and guidelines on setting a goal, and figuring out which goal might be the most appropriate kind.
First things first – by this time most people have heard of a thing called a S.M.A.R.T. goal. This stands for a Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goal. These factors should all be included in the goal you choose. For example: if your goal is to lose weight , that is drastically different than something like “lose 2% body fat before June 1st”. If you like to do obstacle races and want to “get in shape” for them, then work backwards. Something like “run 3 miles” is a great start, because it’s specific, measurable, and most likely attainable. Now you just need to add a timeline, that is reasonable. If you’re having trouble with a half mile, running 3 by next week will likely not be realistic. If you choose to give yourself 2-3 months, then you’ve got a plan.
But not everyone has a race season, or competition season coming up, so how do the rest of you find a goal? The secret is super simple. It can be anything!!! Weight loss, weight gain, certain number of pull-ups, be able to get on and off the floor pain free, get off a certain medication (with doctor approval obviously), or even something completely unrelated to health and fitness.
Start with the ‘W’ questions. ‘W’hat do I want? ‘W’hen do I want it by? ‘Why’ do I want it? (Trust me that one is the MOST important). Then follow up with the big ‘H’ question. ‘How’ will I do it? If you don’t have an answer to these questions, you don’t have a goal, you have a wish.
Wishes, in my opinion, rely on luck, while goals rely on your actions. Once you make a decision about what your goal is, go back and make sure it fits the 5 categories, and create yourself a plan of action. You might need to tweak it here or there a bit, but that’s for you to figure out.
My last piece of advice, is to absolutely write it down! And then find at least one person to support you, and hold you accountable. Once your goal isn’t a secret anymore, you’ll be more likely to actively work towards it.
So go, think of what you want, why you want it, and how you’re going to get it! And then come back and tell me what you chose!!!