Monday, December 3, 2012

Start SMART Now!

We're coming up on a new year... assuming the Mayans didn't know what they were talking about. We're also smack dab in the middle of the Holiday season. I have heard so much of this....

"I need to lose weight, but there's no sense in starting right now with the holidays..."
"Just wait until January... enjoy the holidays."

Let me 'splain something. There are approximately 40 days that encompass "The Holidays" (the time period from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years). This year there is an even larger gap between between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you can honestly justify in your head to spend FORTY DAYS slacking when you know you need to do something, then be my guest. Out of those days, there are maybe 7 that we actually encounter "holiday" situations such as parties or family dinners. 7 out of 40. Your best bet is to start now. Eat right and train hard when you have the opportunity, and then when you do encounter a "holiday" situation, you won't feel bad about splurging on that cocktail or that homemade chocolate chip cookie.

Along the same lines... with the new year comes the pressure to set new goals. I decided to go ahead and set one to keep me motivated through the holiday season. I use the SMART format for goal planning, which I find very effective.


Goals should be SMART.


Specific: answer the six W questions:
WHO: Who is involved?
WHAT: What do I want to accomplish?
WHEN: Establish a timeframe
WHICH: Identify requirements and constraints
WHY: Specific reasons, purpose, or benefits of accomplishing the goal

Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you just set. Measuring will help you stay on track with your target dates. To see if your goal is measurable, ask these questions:
How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable: Almost any goal is attainable if you have a solid plan for accomplishing it. That brings us to our next bullet....

Realistic: Your goals HAVE to be realistic. They have to be something you are both willing and able to make happen. High goals create greater motivational force than low ones, but only you know how high you can set your goals before they become unrealistic.

Timely: A goal should have a definite time frame. A time frame causes a sense of urgency and creates higher motivational force.


My new weight goal: 160 lbs by EOM January 2013 (lose 5 lbs)

WHAT: lose weight
WHEN: by EOM Jan 2013
WHICH: 5 lbs
WHY: because I need to lower my body fat percentage

Measurable: weight is an easy one to measure. Other goals may be more difficult to set measurements, but there's always a way.

Attainable: I can lose 5 pounds, because I'm nowhere near my threshold of NOT being able to lose more.

Realistic: 2 months + is a realistic time frame to drop 5 pounds

Timely: My timeline of EOM January 2013 is enough time to do it, but a short enough time to make me push myself to drop it fast and stay motivated.

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