Motivational tapes, Sunday school, and all kinds of corporate training tools agree that your goals should be SMART. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.
So I've come up with my own goals, including tips on how I made them "SMARTer"
S is for Specific:
I basically want to look amazing. Im talking head turning, jaw dropping, guys doing triple takes amazing. This is a good start but not specific enough. General goals like "lose weight," or "get in shape," are too intangible to make the cut. So maybe I just want to weigh 130 lbs? But then again, if I'm 130 lbs of blubber will I feel accomplished? No. So my new specific goals will be as follows: 1. Achieve a total bodyweight of 135 lbs. 2. Attain twenty two percent body fat. Thats it. I thought of adding more, like some sort of fitness goal, but lets face it I'm a bit vain. I don't care if I can run five miles. I care if I look good doing it.
M is for Measurable:
I will easily be able to measure my weight and body fat percentage when achieved. I will however need to know the starting point, so I went to the doctor to get my measurements. I weigh 159, and am at 34% bodyfat. Sad day. More on this later. The point is to measure a goal, you must assess:
Where are you now? Where are you going? How will you know when you get there?
A is for attainable:
This one I have a hard time with, because I like to think everything is attainable. Everyone of course has limitations and at some point they must be acknowledged. So make sure you can actually do that which you have set out to do, but don't think that just because no one else has done it yet, it can't be done. Personally, I find my goals completely attainable (I certainly have the adequate fat to lose, and the physical capability to do so), so I shall move on.
R is for Realistic:
Realistic and attainable are pretty similar in my eyes. Just remember reality is negotiable. For example, until the world was round, realistically it was flat. Push the boundaries of course, but in the same breath it is highly unlikely that I will lose all twenty five pounds overnight unless I cut it out of me (which could happen realistically).
Timely is the part of SMART that makes you get off the couch. It can also stand for tangible. You gotta know when you got what you wanted. So I need to add some sort of time constraint to my goals. Health experts generally agree that the optimum rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. Since I want to avoid the crash and burn diets that have failed me so often in the past, I shall settle for a seemingly glacial 1.5 lbs per week.
Percentage wise, I am starting at 34% bodyfat, meaning that of my 159 lbs, I have a whopping 53 lbs of fat. Now at my goal weight of 135 with my goal bodyfat percentage of 22, I would have 30 lbs of fat, meaning I will have to lose 23 lbs of pure fat to accomplish my goals. 23 pounds divided by 1.5 pounds a week equals a whopping fifteen weeks, which is longer than anything I've stuck with in my entire life. Sheesh. I should get started.....
Now, don't hate, but I've actually already started...four weeks ago to be exact (12/1/2010), which means that I have until exactly March 16 to achieve my new SMART goal:
Achieve a total body weight of 135 lbs with 22% bodyfat by 3/16/2011.