03
Jan
12

I resolve to….be S*M*A*R*T

Lose weight, workout more, get my financials in order, call my brothers more, learn a new language, etc. The list is endless and most often it’s open-ended.

Most people who make resolutions do it with a genuine desire for self-improvement, the problem is in the follow through. Often our resolutions are little more than thoughts and so we never really commit to achieving them.  The intention is good, the process is not.  The average “resolver” usually tries to stick to it and then it all fades in about 2 weeks.

IF you are truly trying to make a go of a good resolution, it’s best to think of it as goal setting. Merely calling it a resolution builds in an escape clause and in setting out to accomplish we have given ourselves an out to fail. When we do goal setting with our team kids we have very specific protocol. Try these qualities when setting up your New Years Goals this year.

For clarity we will use an imaginary goal, lets say to lose weight.  I am not a big proponent of “losing weight” I would phrase it as “getting healthy” and having fat reduction as a part of the overall goal. Muscle actually weighs more than fat so it is completely possible to get heavier when getting fit. “Losing weight” is a very ambiguous term. But it is a VERY common goal, so we’ll stick with it for now.

First we have to be Specific. Rather than “lose weight” let’s say we want to eliminate fat. We will state our goal as “I want to reduce my our fat content“.

Next we have to address Measurabilityy. Can my goal be measured?  There are many ways to measure our percentage of body fat, so assuming we have a reliable way. Lets change our goal to say “I want to reduce my percentage of body fat by 90%”. This is a defined goal and I know if I reach 89% I did not make it and if I reach 91%, I more than made it. Now I have a clear goal.

Review the goal and see if it is Achievable.  I work from 7:30AM to 9PM, I eat lunch around 11AM and dinner about at 9:30PM. In between I have cookies and chips from the vending machine. Sounds bad, but this is pretty typical of a business owner/coach. So my overall goal may be a good one, but it may be the culmination of many smaller goals. In fact, setting smaller goals will work much better. So let’s add in some sub-goals. “I want to reduce my percentage of body fat by 90%: I will eat 6 smaller meals everyday, I will bring a fruit snack to substitute the vending machine snacks (also helps with getting finances under control), I will take a brief work break in the afternoon, and go for a walk (sub goals would fit here too), I will have my last meal at 9:00 giving me time to digest before bed.” 

Next we need to review for Realism. Is it reasonable to think that YOU could accomplish this? Is the Olympics a realistic goal for an athlete? Sure, Maybe. No. All depending on who you are. Is it reasonable to lose 90% of your fat? No. Even a trained athlete has more fat than 10% (Women athletes 14-20% and men 6- 13%) and “regular people have even more. So is it realistic to lose that amount? Instead lets reword our goal to “I want to reduce my percentage of body fat by 50%: I will eat 6 smaller meals everyday, I will bring a fruit snack to substitute the vending machine snacks, I will take a brief work break in the afternoon, and go for a walk , I will have my last meal at 9:00 giving me time to digest before bed.” 

Lastly, add the element of a deadline. Give yourself a realistic Timeline to accomplish your goal. It is safe to lose 1-4 pounds per week. so based off of your percentage, base your timeline accordingly. Our final goal then is: I want to reduce my percentage of body fat by 50% by December 31st of 2012: I will eat 6 smaller meals everyday, I will bring a fruit snack to substitute the vending machine snacks (also helps with getting finances under control), I will take a brief work break in the afternoon, and go for a walk (sub goals would fit here too), I will have my last meal at 9:00 giving me time to digest before bed.” 

If you notice the acronym formed by our goal setting plan is S*M*A*R*T. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and with a Timeline. IF I would add one thing, Write it all down, laminate it and carry it around. Seeing your goal re-confirms your commitment to it and you won’t let yourself off the hook.

Try it. Let me know how it goes.

 

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