SMARTER Goals

You may or may not have heard of SMART goals ? This framework has been around in business and coaching circles for years and has been elaborated on to incorporate two extra dimensions, taking them from SMART to SMARTER goals. Confused ? Well, if so you may be about to learn something !!

S – Specific. Make sure your goal is specific. The more specific you are the less likely you are to end up with something you don’t want. Simply thinking “I want to lose weight or tone up” is very ambiguous and non-specific. You may be better off saying I want to weigh ‘x’ amount and have a size ‘x’ waist, with ‘x’ % body fat.

M – Measureable. Unless you do this how will you know you are making progress towards your goal ? Many people are excellent at doing this in a work context but seem to forget to apply it to their own health and fitness goals. So if you wanted to lose weight then a weekly weigh in or measurement would give you the feedback you need.

A – Achievable, Action Orientated, agreed, acceptable, accountable ? Take your pick for ‘A’ but I like ACTION ORIENTATED. Thinking about your goal is great, but there comes a point when you have to get off your behind and do something about it!! A goal that is compelling, motivating you towards something and action driven will get you going.

R – Realistic.  Pretty self explanatory. Given your abilities and current resources is your ultimate goal realistic. If you believe you can reach it then you’re in with a chance, if you think it is unattainable then it may well remain that way. Goals need to stretch you and challenge you but should always be realistic.

T – Timed. Although you can adapt, change and modify your goals it is essential to give them a time frame. This gives structure and also allows for regular feedback during the process. If you want to lose 2stone over 6 months you may break the goal down into ‘Chunks’ i.e. weigh ‘x’ amount in 2 weeks, ‘x’ amount in 4 weeks and so on…

E – Ecological. This doesn’t mean your goal has to be ‘Green’ but it does mean that it has to be congruent with your beliefs and values. Ecology is interested in the wider consequences of achieving or not achieving the goal. Asking yourself the following questions may help;What will happen if you achieve your goal ?What won’t happen if you achieve your goal ?What will happen if you don’t achieve your goal ?What won’t happen if you don’t achieve your goal ?If you want to lose weight then the consequences of that may be buying a new wardrobe or investing time at the gym, time you may have spent socialising with friends for example.

R – Rewards. My favourite, and the most neglected in the SMARTER framework. Each time you reach a target or goal then anchor that good feeling by rewarding yourself (probably best not to reward yourself with food, unless of course it’s healthy). Go on treat yourself you deserve it!

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