I’m wrapping up week three with the Three Phase Challenge team and this week I’m talking about goal setting. Clearly defining your goals is the first step towards achieving them. I asked each of the participants to post their weekly goal on our private members only forum using the acronym S.M.A.R.T
Specific. Measurable. Action-oriented. Realistic. Time Based.
This is an acronym that was introduced to me as I was starting my business and I’ve learned that it can be, and should be, used in any goal setting scenario. Typically when I ask people what their health and fitness goals are I get responses similar to these…
“Get back on track with eating healthy, start running more, be able to do push ups” – all great and ambitious ideas but, at this point, that’s all they are – ideas. It’s really easy to say your want to eat healthier. Then, when you look back at the end of the week how do you know if you actually achieved that goal? You ate more fruits and veggies but you also ate a box of donuts and a bag of twizzlers soooooo…..does that count? It’s important that at the end of each week you can clearly state “Yes I accomplished my goal” or “No I did not accomplish my goal” No wishy-washy “ummm maybe, kinda, I think so” answers!
So let’s break it down using the example of wanting to run more:
What does more mean? Because if you run 2 extra minutes each week that’s more right? Well yes, but that probably won’t get you to your longer term goals of losing 10lbs and competing in a 10k race any faster. So be specific!
Being specific with your goal includes a unit of measure. How many more minutes/miles will you run this week? This is the part of your goal that you can review at the end of the week and clearly state whether or not your hit your mark.
This step turns the idea or the thought of your goal into an actual action plan. What actions will you take to reach your goal? What obstacles may get in your way and how will you work around them?
We are talking about short term goals, so be realistic while continuing to challenge yourself at the same time. If you’re new to running, don’t commit to running a half marathon straight out of the gate. At the same time, don’t take the easy road and just tack on a few extra minutes.
Another unit of measure around these goals should be time. How long will you run. What days, at what time and when will you have accomplished your goal by?
So now “I want to run more” looks like this…
“I will run an additional 10k by the end of this week. 5k on Tuesday before my 6pm workout and 5k on Thursday at 6am before I get ready for work. On Tuesday I will arrive at the gym 45 minutes early to allow time for stretching and mobility work before my run so that I can leave by 7pm and be home in time for dinner. On Thursday I will have breakfast pre-made so that after my run I can quickly eat, shower up and get to work on time.”
Using SMART short term goals will hold you accountable and rule out any excuses – you either did what you said you were going to do, or you didn’t. It’s as simple as that! It takes a little more thought and a little more planning but now this goal of ‘running more’ is well within reach. It’s attainable and there’s a plan in place. If you don’t reach your goal by the end of the week you can then look back and easily see what went wrong and what you need to do differently next week.
What’s your SMART goal for the week? Comment below and let me know! Here’s mine for week 4 of the challenge 🙂
By the end of week 4 I will have consumed a minimum of 8 cups of water every day. (I’ve really been slacking on my H20 intake!) I will use my swell bottle that holds 2 cups of water meaning I need to refill it 4 times. I will drink 2 cups first thing in the morning with my breakfast and vitamins. 2 cups before and during lunch. 2 cups before, during and after my afternoon workout and the final 2 cups before 9pm