Are Your Goals S.M.A.R.T?
Goal setting can be a difficult ordeal, but if done properly, it can be motivating and fun to see progress towards your goal. The best way to set goals is by using the acronym SMART. It is often said that setting goals, and actually writing them down, is far more effective toward helping you achieve those goals. Let's dive deeper into SMART goals.
S for Specificity; it is important to be as specific as you can when making a goal, because that points out a clear path to achieving it. Some important questions to ask yourself are: What exactly do I want to accomplish? How do I want to do it? Who do I want to do it with? Where do I want to do it? Why do I want to reach this goal?
M for Measurable; a basic goal of “getting stronger” is not practical, how strong do you want to be and in what exercises? Not having a way to measure your goal can leave it open ended and daunting. Setting measurable goals can help you plan accordingly, so instead of “getting stronger”, try “I want to squat 250 pounds for 5 repetitions.”
A for Attainable; you are just planning to fail if your goal is not under your control. Having a goal like winning the lottery is a ridiculous notion because it is not up to you. A goal is attainable when you can make that goal happen without outside help. So, instead of your goal being to make All-Greater Rochester, your goal should be something that you can control like striving to score "x" amount of points or make sure you come train in the off-season a minimum of three days per week. Attainable goals are also ones that are realistic so the goal to lose 100 pounds in 3 months just isn't realistic, so strive for something manageable that builds toward the overall vision of losing 100 pounds.
R for Relevant; relevancy is looking at the goal as a whole and determining if your goal fits into your overall lifestyle and other goals. Does it make sense to make it into the NFL and be an Astronaut? Could you imagine what a ridiculous work schedule and training schedule you would have? Goals should be made to further yourself, not to step on your own feet by making life difficult. What would the point of accomplishing a 600 pound deadlift be if you are a tennis player?
T for Timely; having a timeline is key. You don’t want to go into old age with the goal of overhead pressing 300 lbs. Having a time set for completing a goal can help you plan the steps into accomplishing it. If you have a year to accomplish a goal, you can plan on completing a step week by week.
Give the process a try. Set a long term goal, say, for a year from now. Add a mid-term goal, say for 3 months from now, and then break down your short term goals to weekly and daily goals. If each of these are tuned to the SMART principles, they are most likely to work for you. Breaking down your goals to their smallest timeframes helps keep you on track. That way you can always reevaluate your goals and reset them as needed over time.
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