You’ve got this far, don’t give up now.
The key to an achievable goal is to be S.M.A.R.T.
Whilst something such as “I want to lose weight/gain muscle” is a good place to start, you need to ask yourself these question:
- What – What do you want to acheive? Be specific here, such as “I want to lose 5lbs”.
- When – When do you want to acheive this by? “In 1 month”.
- How – How will you acheive this? “By eating healthily and working out x times per week”
- Where – The location where you will carry this out. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to execute this. “In the gym/outdoors”
- Why – What reason do you have for this goal? What benefits will you gain from accomplishing the goal? “So I can be fit and healthy/look good on my holiday”
You can track your progress dependent on your goal. If you want to lose weight/gain muscle, you can use scales and a tape measure. Measuring your progress frequently is as important as setting your goals. This way, you will know whether what you are doing is working, and if not, you can adjust your methods to keep on track. More importantly, the first time you track your progress will boost your confidence and motivate you to push on.
Create reasonable goals, that are easily acheivable. Losing 5lbs in 2 months is much more acheivable than losing 20lbs in 1 month. Not only is this unrealistic, but you are setting yourself up to fail before you even start. If you have a large goal, break it down into smaller goals over a longer period of time. “I want to lose 30lbs over 6 months” is certainly acheivable. But a goal that is 6 months away seems like it’s slow progress and you might lose interest . Instead, break it down to smaller, shorter goals such as “I will lose 5lbs in 1 month”. This is definitely achievable, in that a good rate for weight loss is 1-2lbs per week. The success of your small goals will boost your confidence and helps you aim higher.
Be realistic about how you will acheive this. You may have the best intensions at heart when you say you will run for 2 hours every day. But that’s just not realistic, is it? Do you have 2 hours a day free to run, every single day? What if you’re sick, or are busy? Of course, if you are mega dedicated you will ultimately be the one deciding whether this is sustainable.
An open goal has no sense or urgency to it, nothing to spur you on. If you have no deadline to complete something, chances are you put it off in favour of more important or demaning tasks. The same applies here. Put a deadline on it, this gives you a clear target to work towards.
So, get SMART and acheive your goals 🙂