Let’s talk about goals and what they mean. Goals are set by everybody, the goal could relate to every-day life such as wanting to save a certain amount of money for a house, car or a holiday. If not per-sonal goals your goal could be within the health and fitness environment, such as wanting to lose a certain amount of weight or gain a certain amount of strength. For the person who the goal belongs to, we need to understand and collect certain information which can help paint a picture of how the goal is going to be achieved, which can help with the mindset and focus of the individual. We do this by creating goals which are SMART.

So, what is a SMART goal?

So, a SMART goal using the SMART acronym or principle allows us to break the main goal into five sec-tions. From these small details we can ensure that the goal is fully understood and easy to follow. Be-low you shall find the steps and stages of the acronym.
Specific – What is the actual ‘specific’ target or goal? Now when we ask this question we do not just want to give and receive the usual “I want to lose weight”. This information does not paint a picture or give us any idea of what is actually required. So what we need to look for is specific details such as, how much weight?, why do you want to lose weight?, is there an occasion?, is it for self-satisfaction? We need to make sure we fully understand what is required so it can help moving forwards, I often en-courage people to use the 5 W’s, Who, What, Where, Why and When.
Measurable – Lets now look into measurable. So now we understand what the specific goal is, we now need to make sure that we can measure our progress towards the goal, otherwise, how are we going to know if we have achieved the target. Measurements could be anything which again relate back to the specific goal, weight loss or weight gain, body measurements, drop in dress sizes, progression pictures. If we can track of the progress then it’s measurable.
Achievable – When it comes to achievable, the answer usually given is ‘yes’, but we need to understand why the goal is achievable, if we can understand why it is achievable and how it is going to be achieved, it will help to paint the picture of the end result in our mind. If the goal suddenly becomes unachievable, then we need to understand why and what needs to be changed to make sure that it is become achievable.
Realistic/Relevant – When looking at your goal, if the above 3 points you can say ‘yes’ too, then the goal becomes relevant and realistic to what needs to be achieved, if your answer is ‘no’, then again, you need to adjust and re-evaluate.
Time-Based – Time based, there is always a deadline to every goal that you set to be achieved. Again, we need to make sure that it’s realistic otherwise the goal is not going to be a success. Make sure the time frame is specific, rather than stating ‘in 6 months’ time’, give a specific date for example 1st December 2019.

You will find that the goal which you are wanting to achieve is always known as the long-term goal (end goal). From this, we can develop smaller goals or milestones along the way to help us keep on track and motivated form our successes throughout the entirety of the goal.

Give it a go, give yourself a better understanding and chance of making your goal a success.

Stuart Dolman
Personal Trainer, Tutor & Assessor

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