What’s wrong with most of your health and weight loss goals?
I’m willing to be that most of them are not SMART.
Not that you’re not smart. I mean, obviously, if you’re reading my blog, you’re a wonderfully smart, attractive, fun person! But your goals? Maybe not so much.
If your measures of health success in the past year have been along the lines of:
- lose weight
- stop emotional eating
- exercise more
- take better care of myself
- have ‘me’ time
then I’m sorry to say, your goals are the opposite of smart. Your goals be dumb.
Don’t get me wrong – the spirit behind them is fantastic. Self improvement, weight loss, and improved health are awesome goals! But, the way you’ve made them…
Did you actually get them done? Are you satisfied with how they turned out?
What are SMART health and weight loss goals?
Well, let’s start by deciding what ‘dumb’ health and weight loss goals are.
They’re vague goals, without any real or concrete way to assess success or failure. They’re goals that may not fit into your lifestyle, or really resonate with who you are. They’re goals that cause feelings of ‘stuckness’, confusion, and frustration as you struggle with how to achieve them and what to do next.
Smart health and weight loss goals, on the other hand? Well… they’re SMART.
SMART is actually an acronym for how to make actionable and effective goals. In terms of our health and weight loss, this means the goals are:
* Time managed
Pretty much the opposite of the vague goals listed above.
What does all that mean?
I’m glad you asked 🙂 Basically, all it means it, you’ve got to do some thinking and planning if you want to really meet your health and weight loss goals.
* Specific – means that your goals have to be narrowed down. “I want to eat better” is not specific. “I want to eat a plant based/paleo/low FODMAP/whatever diet” is much more specific and gives you a real place to start working from.
* Measurable – means can you measure your progress and your success. “I want to exercise more” is not measurable. “I want to lift weights 3 times a week” is totally measurable – you can measure whether you were successful. Another way might be “I want to be able to run 5k” – you can measure your progress and success against this number.
* Attainable – means can you actually achieve this goal. If you have a specific and measurable goals like “I want to meditate for an hour a day”… do you actually have an hour a day to commit to this? Don’t set yourself up for frustration and goal fatigue by making your goals something you can’t actually achieve.
* Resonates – means does your goal fit in with your bigger dreams, life goals, and who you are as a person? If your goal is to “go to Zumba class for an hour 3 times a week”, but you don’t really like Zumba and would rather be doing yoga (but your friends say Zumba burns more calories, so that’s what you should do), then this goal isn’t resonating with you. Don’t set goals because you ‘should’ – make sure they are what you want to do, and are leading towards growth in your life.
* Time managed – means that the goals have a clear end point. This doesn’t have to be the end of the goal, but a point at which you stop to assess how it’s going and any adjustments you might want to make. If the goal is achievement-based (Like lift x-amount, lose y-amount, run z-distance), then putting a date on it will help structure your approach and give you clear boundaries for success and motivation. If your goal is more qualitative, then giving yourself a set time-frame can have a similar effect. Just getting down to do yoga 3 times a week FOREVER is kinda off putting… but 3 times a week for the next 3 months? Totally doable!
Why have SMART health and weight loss goals?
So, why go to all the bother of working this out? Why not just stick with “lose weight” or “run more” as goals?
Well, they kinda suck. For me, it all comes down to motivation and success.
If there’s a clear goal, with boundaries, measures, and a time-frame – AND it really resonates with you and your life – you’re going to want to do it. You want to succeed. And you have clarity on what ‘success’ means.
And then, you’ll actually achieve your goals and life a happier, healthier life. Win!
Caveat: Weight goals
Yes, you can make weight goals SMART.
“I’m going to lose 5lbs by June 12th” is specific, measurable, attainable, resonates with you, and has a time-frame.
I really caution against this kind of goal. The body doesn’t really work like this and weight loss is a complex process. I’m sure you have a very clear idea of how much you ‘should’ weigh… but setting it up as a goal is really asking for trouble.
A MUCH better idea is to make other health goals that support weight loss, such as healthy eating, mind-body practices, movement, and self-care a priority, and let the weight loss be an added bonus to your super improved life and self.
How do you make SMART health and weight loss goals?
So, sounds good right? Goals you can measure, do, and that make your life more awesome.
But, after a life of dumb goals – how can you make smart ones?
Here is the ‘official’ Live the Whole SMART goal setting bundle (I just love that word – ‘bundle’. Don’t you feel like you’re getting a totally value packed gift when someone offers a ‘bundle? Well – that’s what this is!).
In this bundle (yay!) you get:
- the SMART health and weight loss worksheet – to help you get those dumb goals in hand
- the motivation worksheet – to make sure you’ll actually DO IT 😀
- the weekly goal planner printable – to get you on track and help you stay there
- a vision board template (to use in paint, photoshop, print out and glue stuff on it)
Download the bundle and get to work creating some super SMART health and weight loss goals! What are yours? Share them in the comments – I’d love to know what you’re up to!
And if you’d like more awesome free stuff like this, sign up here