Long-term, short-term, work related, life related, relationship related, faith related, fitness and health related. No matter what chapter of life you are currently in right now, you should be setting goals and working every day towards them.
I do. I love them. They fuel me.
Goals can be intimidating. Not so much the act of doing them. More the proclamation when setting them. There tends to be a misconception that to set a goal means to announce something extreme, something “awe-inspiring”. Go big or go home, right? Otherwise you are inadequate, right?
Let’s step back, take a breath and think for a moment. Let’s taco-bout setting some S.M.A.R.T. goals.
I recently just took (and passed – whoop whoop!) my ACE Group Fitness Instructor certification exam. One of the chapters outlined this fantastic acronym for explaining how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Specific – Be specific about what you would like to accomplish. Rather than saying “I want to get fit” aim towards something more specific such as “I want to finish a 5k.”
Measurable – Be sure that the goal is something that you can see results from. Finishing that 5k is a way to measure if you have accomplished the end result of your goal.
Attainable – Is it achievable? If you are a stagnant individual looking to boost your health & fitness, you more than likely would not aim to run a marathon by next month. This may be a great long-term goal, but start off with something more safely attainable (referring back to that 5k). Start with finishing a 5k. Once you’ve accomplished that, you can then aim for the next goal of either finishing a longer race, such as a 10k, or perhaps shaving off time in your 5k. I have a bit of a hard time with this one because I tend to feel like it could sound like we are holding you back. Don’t let this hold you back. Just be smart about the path you are setting out on to achieve your goal(s)!
Relevant – Is your plan for achieving your goal relevant towards that goal? For example, if you are into resistance and heavy weight training and have just set a goal for yourself to complete a half marathon, your workout regimen will need to shift towards a more (relevant) cardio-focused plan.
Time bound – Hold yourself accountable to a time frame for completing your goal. As previously mentioned, it would not be a good idea for a stagnant individual who would like to get more fit and finish a 5k, to plan to do this in a months time. That being said, setting the 5k for two years out may seem a bit far out as well. Find a race a few months away, commit to it by signing up, find a training plan (there are thousands you can find via the Google machine, like this one here) and get moving! Commit to running a certain number of days each week, for a certain distance and/or certain amount of time. Set smaller, more immediate goals to help you reach the bigger one!
**I also like to use the “T” in this acronym for “Tell someone”. Once you set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal, do yourself a favor. Write it down. And then tell someone about it. Whoever you tell should be someone that you feel can hold you accountable to that goal and provide positive reinforcement towards your accomplishing that goal. Whether it be saying it to yourself in the mirror, telling your dog (because saying it out loud in general, even if no one is listening at all, can be tough), or if you decide to Go Big and announce to the entire Facebook community what you are setting out to do, just be sure to tell someone. It’s whatever you are comfortable with. There is no right or wrong way (in my opinion – as all of these posts are). But tell SOMEONE. And Write It Down. Keep it somewhere that you can see it often. I keep sticky notes lined up at the bottom of my computer screen at work. Then I write my progress plan in my planner on what I intend to do to work towards achieving that goal. And of course, I tell people (usually starting with my husband).
So, all this talk about setting goals, it would be a bit ridiculous for me to sign off without mentioning one for myself. As I said earlier, I recently passed my ACE Group Fitness Instructor Certification Exam. My goal through the month of December is to write out a class plan and then teach it somewhere, to anyone, even if it’s to my dog or husband or family or friends, or complete strangers…by the end of January. I’ll be sure to continue to share my progress along the way.
*Happy paces to happy places, everyone.*