Setting Realistic Goals The SMART Way

Fat girlI may have covered this topic before, but I’m a firm believer in it so I deem it appropriate to speak of it again.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make time for yourself. If you want to be successful in completing your workouts, losing weight, increasing your self-confidence and whatever other self-improvement project you got going on, then you MUST make time for yourself. It’s really that simple. Make up your mind to do it, and go out and just do it. Impossible is nothing. Keep running. (Nike, Adidas, New Balance‚Ķ they’re all onto something.)

How do you make time for yourself? It’s real easy. Organize your life by getting a day calendar… and using it. Put your name on it, bedazzle it, take some of your kid’s gold stars and go crazy. (Who doesn’t love a little day calendar they can carry around with them, jot little notes in, look important around your friends by proving you have a life, an important one at that?) I used to love buying little organizing thingamajigs when I was younger because it made me feel more grown up. It still does.

We’re a visual society so seeing something in writing tells our brain that this is serious business and if it’s written down, it must be followed through with. An intention that’s floating around in your brain will walk on outta there without looking back. It knows it ain’t gonna happen because it was never taken seriously in the first place. Write it down, make that intention feel important.

Actually, hold on. Before you go getting all inspired and motivated to workout five times a week at 5 am, let’s take a moment to go over just how things should be scheduled. You don’t want to be all gung-ho the first week and then crash and burn the second. It’s been done way too many times and it’s a bitch to get back in the saddle once you’ve crashed. So how do you avoid that? By setting your goals the SMART way.

Skinny girlS: Specific.

I enjoy cycling so I will make an effort to get out twice a week to bike for 30 minutes each time.

M: Measurable.

By cycling twice a week and eating the right foods, I would like to lose 4 pounds in three weeks so I can fit into that little black dress for my friend’s upcoming party.

A: Attainable.

Getting out twice a week will be manageable as long as I make sure to get out before the kids get up for school.

R: Realistic.

I have everything I need which is extremely helpful. Helmet, bike, shoes and proper clothing, this is a very realistic goal.

T: Timely.

Since I’m looking to lose weight, I will make sure to ride with intention and not just stroll around the neighborhood. I have a set time limit (three weeks) and I will make it happen!

Whatever your fitness level, your short-term and long-term goals should be all these things. Setting goals helps to keep you focused, motivated and accomplished. Write them down and schedule them in your daily calendar. And don’t cancel on yourself. Would you cancel on your doctor’s appt or your hair appt? Probably not so don’t do it to yourself!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Trainer. She can be reached at am@littleblackdresspt.com or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo