SMART Goals

Image from http://www.bostontriathloncoach.com/get-smart/

I wanted to write this post and now I’m not so sure why I am.

I wanted to relate it to my weight and lifestyle, but now I am taking a different approach to that aspect of my life these would not for in very well. Therefore I have been trying to think of how I could use SMART goals in other aspects of my life and have decided that fitness and maybe work are good starting points.

What are SMART Goals?

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

Specific
Definition – relating to on thing and not others (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/specific_1?q=specific
My Thoughts – I agree with this, but I am able prone to making vague goals, probably so I don’t get disappointed. From my reading we should be asking ourselves the 6 w’s; Who, What, When, Where, Which and Why. I definitely need to do this more.

Measurable
Definition – to discover the exact size or amount of something, or to be of a particular size (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/measure_1?q=measure)
My Thoughts – I don’t like the definition i have found as it doesn’t say exactly what I think it should. I think it would be about establishing the best method of measurement that can be compared for ongoing progress, either against yourself or someone/thing else.

Achievable
Definition – to success in finishing something or reaching an aim, especially after a lot of hard work (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/achieve?q=achieve)
My Thoughts – I do believe in this and it is something that makes a goal worth while. We put all this work in and we should achieve something, but it then relates to what you want to achieve and whether that is actually realistic.

Realistic
Definition – accepting things as they are in fact and not making decisions based on unlikely hopes for the future (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/realistic?q=realistic)
My Thoughts – I think this is the key for any goal. I often set unrealistic goals and then never achieve anything as the original goal was too hard or far away. It is easy to become disheartened and give up on not just that goal, but other goals you have.

Timed
Definition – a particular period of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years etc. for which something has been happening, or which is needed for something (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/time_3)
My Thoughts – This one is one I think works for some goals and not for others. It really depends on what the original goal is. If it is something like getting to the gym more, setting yourself a number of times to go a week would be a good idea. But for example with weight loss setting 3 months to lose X amount of pounds can be too much pressure. I guess it really depends on how you respond to pressure you put on yourself.

You can also set SMARTER goals, which I only found out today 🙂 and make a lot of sense.

  • Evaluate
  • Re-evaluate

I have had lost of goals over the years, from losing weight to swimmer more each session. Some I succeed at and some I don’t. That’s life I suppose.

My fitness SMARTER goal for swimming:
S – To swim with the top lane again (Approx 3000m a session)
M – I will count the number of lengths I do each session
A – I used to swim there and currently swim 2500m a session
R – Just back in the pool after my shoulder injury and therefore can build up again
T – I will swim twice a week with the club
E – I will evaluate my progress every month and look at my average lengths
R – I will then reevaluate my my target

My SMARTER goal for Body Pump:
S – I want to lift more weight that the Target on the reminder sheet
M – I will record the weight I use for each track
A – I will gradually get stronger the more I keep going
R – I think it is realistic as many people lift more than the sheet says
T – I will move up weights on at least 2 tracks every week
E – I will evaluate my progress each week to determine the weights I should use
R – I will reevaluate each week to make sure I am not pushing too hard

As I wrote this post i got to be more interested. I am glad I took the focus off losing weight and instead focused on fitness as I enjoy both of these a lot and would like to improve after my shoulder injury. Setting myself these goals has made me think about not putting too much pressure on myself and evaluate things regularly, which is something I have not done before intentionally.

What do you think of SMART or SMARTER goals?

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