When beginning a weight loss journey, it may be overwhelming when you think of the large number of pounds you want to lose. This can be discouraging and heartbreaking when you feel you cannot meet your long-term goals. That’s why we have come up with more than just the typical SMART goals, but instead SMARTER goals. This will help you set realistic and achievable goals so that you can stay positive and strong on your weight loss journey!
S – Goals must be SPECIFIC and the more specific the better. State your goal in as exact of terms as possible so that there is no room for interpretation or error. This will make it easier for you to measure and keep track of your goal, as well as sharing your goal with others. Have a clear and focused goal that is relevant to you.
M – Your goal should be MEASURABLE. Think about what will be the measurement of your goal. This doesn’t always have to be about the amount of pounds you have lost. How about the amount of candy bars you have stayed away from? How many grams of fiber and protein you were able to eat in a week? It could even be the number of days you have logged your calorie intake! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box because even small victories can be celebrated!
A – Goals should have ACCOUNTABILITY. Do you have any buddies supporting you on your weight loss journey that can help hold you to a higher standard? Are you personally holding yourself accountable for your actions? Your health is directly related to your actions, so it is a good idea to have someone hold you accountable. Using different phone apps, weight loss groups, creating a personal blog or even speaking with your doctor will give you the extra push to stay on track with your goals. Set dates with your accountability partner to check in regularly. Make sure to always be honest!
R – Goals must be REALISTIC. Unrealistic goals will lead you off the path of health and happiness and instead straight into destruction valley! Yikes. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap! Take time to really analyze where you are in your healthy journey. Do you eat fast food almost nightly? Cutting it cold turkey may be harder than you think. Instead, first set a goal of only eating out only 2 nights a week. This may be more realistic. Once a goal is met, it can be modified to further push your boundaries. Small steps are worth celebrating and will help lead to a permanent health change over a quick fix. If you need help seeing if your goal is realistic, talk to an accountability partner or your doctor.
T – Targets should be TIME based. What’s your time-table for completion of your goal? Make sure you work hard to stick to it! Time driven goals can be for short or long periods of time, as long as you are realistic about meeting a goal in the time frame. For example, a goal could be “I will train to run a 5k in 8 weeks time”. For a more permanent weight loss goal and example could be “I will eat healthfully and stay on plan for X period of time”. This way, you are not driven mad by the scale if you are at a plateau or not seeing the pounds come off. Instead, you know well that you are properly staying on track.
E – Goals should be EXCITING! Goals that have an excitement aspect to them will make them easier to achieve (and bring a positive spin to your health journey!) Maybe add on a reward or an event that links your goal to excitement. For example, if you meet your goal of not eating fast-food for an entire week, you can buy that new shirt you have had your eye on! We recommend you do not use food as your reward, and instead focus on other positive incentives. Remember to always imagine what’s at the end of your journey. Use that motivation! Wow, that IS exciting.
R – Goals should be RECORDED. They should be written down in a place where you can look at them every day. It’s amazing how little credit we give ourselves. Having your goals available to you to see daily will remind you to stay positive and that you are making progress! Frustration is a typical emotion that occurs when making a large change. Staying focused on your goals will help alleviate the stress and keep you optimistic!
What are your goals today? Make them SMARTER! You have the power to take control of your health, so make the goals that allow you to get there!