What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
S.M.A.R.T. goals are kind of like a roadmap. They help you navigate how and what you’re doing. They provide you with a clear and concise path from point A to point B.
SMART goals are great because it’s something that you have complete power of. You are able to customize your goals right from the very beginning. This allows your goals to become attainable.
What does S.M.A.R.T. Goals Mean?
SMART is an acronym for five very important words and meanings. Each one of these words helps you to create your roadmap.
SPECIFIC. Your goal is direct and detailed. Your goal has meaning to it and a substance to why it is your goal.
MEASURABLE. You are able to track your progress and successes by measuring from start to finish.
ATTAINABLE. The goal is realistic, and you have the tools and equipment to attain the goal.
REALISTIC. Your goal aligns with your mission.
TIME-FRAME. This is your time period. How long do you want to take to accomplish your goal?
How do S.M.A.R.T. Goals Help with Weight Loss?
Remember that every goal has to have a plan of attack. You don’t typically just get in the car and drive, with no destination, right? Well weight loss is sort of like that.
Typically, we tell ourselves, “okay, self, let’s lose weight”. However, we normally set up some sort of goal, but most of the time we don’t set an entire path to accomplish it.
SMART goals will help you lay out your path. They help you get a clear personal definition of what your mission is. They help you stay on track by being able to track your progression and look back on your gains and losses.
1. 1.clearly defined or identified.
The importance behind having a specific goal is so that we don’t lose our way. Sometimes weight loss can be something that we become so wrapped up in. We change our ways, sometimes several times over, potentially causing the yo-yo diet.
With the word specific, you want to find out why you are losing weight. Ask yourself, what is making me need to lose weight. Ask yourself, why will losing weight benefit me? Look at your weight, your BMI, your body’s build.
After you’ve looked at these specific things, find out what your ideal goal weight is. Target an area of your body that you want to tone and build. Examine your body to find out what you’re wanting and needing to work on.
Once you have that answer, right it down. That’s right bust out the journal. Write down your start weight and your goal weight. Also, write down the areas of your body that you want to work on the most.
Writing these things down will help you as we build your SMART goals for success in your journey. It all comes together in the end.
1. able to be measured.
So, just like anything we do in the kitchen, we can measure this too. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t hurt. It actually helps with several steps and your motivation. This process can also be inspiring.
You have your starting weight wrote down and your goal weight. But now its time to take actual body measurements.
Why do we need these measurements? Because you’ll want to see the progression of these measurements on your harder days and weeks that you haven’t seen the scale move. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re becoming thinner and more toned in the areas that you wanted to work on.
How do you measure, and what do you measure? Make sure that when you write these down, you right both left and right as well as a date.
|Neck||Measure around the middle of the neck|
|Shoulders||Measure the widest part of your shoulders, going all the way around your body|
|Chest||Measure just under your bustline|
|Biceps||Measure around the largest part of your arm below the shoulder but above elbow|
|Forearms||Measure around the largest part of the arm below the elbow|
|Waist||Measure ½ inch above your belly button|
|Hips||Measure around the biggest part of your hips|
|Upper Thigh||Measure around the biggest part of your thigh|
|Lower Thigh||Measure around the biggest part of your thigh|
|Right Calf||Measure around the biggest part of your calf|
|Left Calf||Measure around the biggest part of your calf|
|Bust||Measure around the chest at the nipple line, don’t pull the tape too tight|
These measurements are great to have because every month you’ll be remeasuring to see what and where you are as far as inches. This is how it becomes trackable. With weight loss obviously comes lost inches, you must track them though.
1. 1.able to be attained; achievable.
The attainability of your SMART goal is extremely important. This makes sure that you are able to reach your goal. How we do that is by setting smaller goals within your overall goal.
If you have 100 pounds to lose, that number sounds big. That number all in itself sounds unattainable. A larger number breeds discouragement.
If we take that 100 pounds and chop it up into smaller chunks, like each mini goal is 10 pounds, it then becomes more feasible. Now we have one large goal of 100 pounds, cut into 10ths. A smaller number breeds encouragement and motivation.
If you set a goal of a larger number, make sure that you have smaller stepping stone goals. These ensure the longevity of your success, plus it is measurable.
1. 1.having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.
The ability to be realistic with our goal just might be the hardest part about any journey, with or without SMART goals. This is where we have to be real with ourselves. You know what you are capable of, you know what limits can and cannot be pushed.
Overtime your body will change and the goals endgame will become easier to see. But, in the beginning it is very crucial that we are open and honest with ourselves about what can be achieved at that time.
Typically, when we dive headfirst with no idea or real plan, we fail. We end up back at square one, or even worse, we gained weight.
Lets take our 100 pounds that we chopped into 10ths. Now we have a first stepping stone of 10 pounds. We need to take a look at our macronutrients to see how we can adjust our current eating habits to make sure that this 10 pounds is attainable.
You may end up eating 1300 calories a day, is that realistic for you? Maybe you need to adjust them to 1500 calories a day and start at that point.
Again, this process only works if you are real with yourself about your ability to maintain your healthy habits and decrease your unhealthy habits.
So, when making these goals, just make sure you are keeping yourself in mind. Don’t worry about someone else’s thoughts, or pressures of society. Make sure these goals fit you.
1.a period of time, especially a specified period in which something occurs or is planned to take place.
This step is of high importance. This is where we question ourselves probably the most. We want things now, and that’s okay, it’s human nature. However, we need to be realistic with setting our time frame.
Lets go back to our 100 pounds 10th’d. So, we have 10 pounds to lose. How long should this take us? Well, the recommended amount of weight to lose per week is 1.5-2 pounds.
In order to lose this 1 to 2 pounds per week, you will need to be at a calorie deficit of 500 to 1000 calories. That means burning 500-1000 calories more than you eat each day.
So, lets say you are currently eating 2500 calories a day, and you reduce that intake to the 1500 calories we talked about. That is 1000 less calories per day and would land you right around 2 pounds per week.
Just make sure that however you set your calorie deficit, it is something that will work for you and your body. You might want to start at 500 calories per day and lower that as your body adjusts to less food.
So, we have a goal of 2 pounds per week. This would mean that every 5 weeks we are losing 10 pounds. With this we would multiply 10 pounds by 5 weeks. This means that we would lose 100 pounds in 50 weeks. Just under a year!
The point behind SMART goals is to make sure that you are setting yourself up for success. Your success is dependent on you, so make sure that you start out with a strong plan. I encourage you to use these SMART goals to set your goal and then crush them with success.
Remember to set your direct goal, figure out why it is your goal. Make it meaningful and important. Measure every step of the way, make sure you follow the chart and measure at least once a month for real tracking. Make sure that your goal is set up for you to succeed and make it attainable for you, no one else. Be real with yourself when you set these goals, only you know you. Make sure your goals are hard but not unattainable. When you set these goals make sure your time frame is realistic and keeps your overall success in line to be successful.