The end of the year is around the corner, and it is time to reflect on everything that you have accomplished during the year. Did you land your dream job? Maybe you took the trip of a lifetime or volunteered for an amazing charity? Meanwhile, you look down the list and find that the “Get in Shape” checkbox is still empty. Oh, you got in shape, all right—the shape of a potato. Before you get discouraged and say, “There’s always next year!” turn off Netflix and evaluate the steps to actually achieve your dream body before it is swimsuit season. If a healthy and fit body is your goal, here is the S.M.A.R.T. way to achieve it.
Specific: What do you want to accomplish? When do you want to accomplish it? Why do you want to accomplish it? The more specific you are with setting your goal, the better chances you have of actually achieving your goal. Knowing exactly what you want and how you are going to reach it gives you less opportunities to abandon your target.
Measurable: Besides knowing how much you want to achieve, do you have a way of measuring how much you have achieved? Do you have deadlines? Having measurable goals will set benchmarks to let you know how much you have finished and hopefully motivate you to keep going!
Attainable: A sizeable goal is a great goal. Make sure that you have the attitude, skills, and capacity to finish your goal. If you are not passionate about your goal, or are not willing to work hard for it, then you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.
Realistic: We all want to have the perfect body as soon as possible, but to have a fit and healthy body takes time and consistent effort. It is important to avoid making goals that are too hard to attain. Set a goal that is honest and realistic, but also high enough to motivate you.
Time-bound: Without a time frame to complete your goal, you are likely to put it off and say, “I’ll hit the gym tomorrow.” By having a schedule you will be motivated to put forth the effort to undertake your goal before the next New Year, avoiding the realization that you had only hit the gym twice in the entire year.
Whether it is fitness, finance, or other short-term goals, remember that S.M.A.R.T. goals are the best way to get to your desired destination.