I decided to write an article about SMART goals since I mention them a lot. I’m going to show you what SMART goals are, how you make the best of them, and how you can apply this to any part of your life.
What are SMART Goals?
Smart goals stand for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely.
Specific goals are goals that answer who, what, when, where, and why. Most people who say they “want to lose weight” are shooting themselves in the foot from the beginning.
The who should be easiest to answer. The most common goals will have either yourself or yourself and a partner involved.
What are you trying to achieve? Okay here is where the “lose weight” or “get stronger” statement comes in.
Establish a time frame. Simply saying losing weight will not get you motivated to get up and lose it. “Get stronger in 12 weeks” would be an example off establishing a time frame. If you notice I left out some very important information.
Where are you doing to do it at? Are you going to go for a hike every other day at the park? This seems like an insignificant part but you need to be sure to establish where you are doing what you want to do.
The why could be a motivational statement for you, or simply a list of reasons why your goal will make your life better. So if you want to lose weight, an example could be “I want to lose weight so my feet, ankle, and knees stop hurting.”
To me, the measurable part of your goal is one of the most important parts of the equation. In order for your goal to be measurable, you have to be able to answer “how will I know when I achieve it?” How many pounds to lose, how much money to have in my savings account, how much weight I just deadlifted.
I feel that most everything is possible given enough time, dedication, and sometimes, talent. Your goals are important to you so you need to understand what it’s going to take to achieve them. I’m giving you the tools to achieve anything you want in life, but if you don’t make the goals attainable either by adjusting the time frame or some other parameter, you will not have much luck. If you start squatting today and hit a 100 pound squat, it’s not smart (no pun intended) to make a goal of squatting 500 pounds in 6 months. You can most certainly squat 500 pounds but it may take closer to 3 years instead of 6 months. Reach for the stars but adjust your time frame and other parameters.
The way I define the “realistic” part of SMART goals is that you are willing to put the needed effort into your goal. Simply saying you want to quit smoking in 12 months without truly wanting to stop smoking is a waste of time and you are going to fail. While you are planning your goals out, make sure is it something that you are motivated and driven to achieve.
I think this is the most important factor in deciding your goals. Tomorrow is always one day away and it is never promised. Live your life, set your goals, and work your ass off with this in the back of your mind if you want to achieve anything. Make the time frame specific and you are going to start waking up with a purpose, going to bed with a purpose, and feeling extremely motivated.
5 Great SMART Goal Examples
1.) I am going to lose 40 pounds in 12 months by riding my bike around my neighborhood and weight training at my gym. 2.) I am going to save $500 in my savings account in 10 months by putting away $50 as soon as I get paid that month. 3.) I am going to increase my bench press by 30 pounds in 8 weeks by running this upper body routine. 4.) I am going to drop 4 pant sizes by eating less junk food, walking around my neighborhood in the mornings before work, and training at the gym down the street. 5.) I am going to tone up by cutting calories, eating more vegetables, and running a 4 day gym routine.
5 Ways SMART Goals Will Help You Reach Any Goal
Now that you see why SMART goals are great, I’ll show you 10 ways that they will help you reach any goal.
1.) You can hold yourself accountable
If you make a goal to stop smoking in 1 year, you can mark on a calendar, post on Facebook, or with your friends that on this day I will officially stop smoking.
2.) Your motivation is so high
When you have 12 weeks to get ready for a powerlifting event or a physique show, your motivation is sky-high. You are going to have an unbelievable drive and motivation to do everything you need to accomplish your goals.
3.) You have laser focus
You know exactly what you want and you go for it.
You will wake up in the morning with a purpose and feel a sense of pride and your days will go by smoothly knowing that everything you do is
4.) You get addicted to achieving your goals
Once you start achieving goals you set for yourself, you addiction to the success is inevitable.
Life will change when you start using these tools to achieve whatever you want in life.
5.) You learn time management
Sitting around wasting time watching TV and browsing Facebook will be a thing of the past.
Once you start realizing how much you can accomplish in an hour, you are going to start managing your time more efficiently.