Smart Season

Written by Emily Creamer Collins, Master Trainer
This morning as I was mindlessly eating a Christmas cookie for breakfast - after having eaten several of them last night - I realized that I needed to get a grip on my food intake for this holiday season!
But how??
I beat myself up for a while and figured it was a lost cause but then I remembered a cool tip I learned my while getting my Personal Training certification.
It’s about setting SMART goals.


Most of us know that goals provide the roadmap to help make our dreams a reality. But setting goals is not always simple!
It’s more than a general statement of what you want, like in my example, “I want to avoid gaining weight.” Goal setting requires a well-conceived plan of action. Determining what you want is the starting point, but to be most effective we’ll need to write SMART goals.
The acronym SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Let’s break it down…


When writing goals, state exactly what you want to accomplish. Get down to the nitty-gritty. Getting fit is not a goal, it is an idea. Fitting into a size-six dress for a holiday party, or losing three pounds of body fat during the month of December are specific goals. See the difference?



Your goals need to be quantifiable.
Measuring progress toward your goals allows you to ascertain whether your strategy is working. For example, “drinking less alcohol” is not measurable, but “to limit my alcohol intake to one drink at each holiday party” is measurable.


Goals should be challenging yet achievable based on your time constraints, resources and motivation.
For example, planning to exercise everyday even if it means skipping all social and family gatherings is a poor goal because it conflicts with other commitments.
A better goal would be, “I plan to exercise at 7:00am Monday through Thursday so my other commitments are not conflicted.”


Realistic goals are goals within reach.
Unattainable goals set you up for failure, discouragement and loss of interest. An example of an unrealistic goal would be, “I will eat a perfect diet throughout the entire holiday season.”
Instead, set reasonable goals that are manageable such as “I will bring a healthy lunch to work rather than eating fast food.”


Your goals should always have a specific date of completion.
The date should be realistic, but not too distant in the future. Allow yourself enough time to achieve your goal, but not too much time, as this could negatively affect your motivation and willpower.
Tasks are much easier to accomplish when there’s a deadline.
A poor time-specific goal would be “I will lose 10 pounds by the time the next holiday season roles around.” One year is too much time for this goal. A better goal would be, “I will lose 1 pound per week within the month of December (end date 12/31).”
Let’s try to be SMART this season! Give it a try, and I will too. We can compare notes!

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