What are SMART goals and why are they important? Smart goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. The reason they’re important is because they are the small steps that we are going to have to take in order for us to get to our end goal. Every BIG accomplishment is made up of multiple smaller ones that ultimately build upon one another to form it. That is what our smart goals are – they are the big picture broken down into smaller, less intimidating pieces. They are the more reasonable, attainable, short term goals that will guide us to our ultimate big goal.
Smart goals help us to stay on track and keep us motivated as we work toward our end goal. They keep us from biting off more than we can chew so to speak and draw our attention away from the discouraging realizations of not having yet reached our main goal. If we ONLY keep our end goal in mind and focus our attention only on that, judging our success based upon whether or not we have reached it, we are going to become discouraged and that will lead to giving up. However, if we set up smart goals for ourselves and focus our attention on those smaller victories and celebrate those little acheivements along the way, we can stay motivated and continue on to reach our desired end goal.
Think of your fitness journey as a puzzle. We start training and dieting because we have an image in mind; we see that completed image in our head. When you buy a puzzle, you buy it because of what the completed picture looks like. Then you take it home and dump it out and all of a sudden you think “oh boy, what did I just get myself into”. It is a little overwhelming. But you get started and you try to organize the pieces and little by little you start to put them together with the hopes that you will complete the puzzle and get that final picture. However, time goes on and you start to feel discouraged. It is taking longer than you thought and the longer you work at it and the longer the picture is incomplete, the more discouraged you become. Sometimes you wind up giving up before finishing it. That is kind of what happens with peoples training and diet plans. They start because they saw the finished picture in their mind (of the end result) but, they didn’t think too much about all of the little pieces that they were going to have to put together and all of the time it was going to take in order to do that so they can create that completed image. More importantly, people don’t appreciate the progress they make along the way. They look and see that the big picture isn’t finished and feel like they failed.
Smart goals are about setting up and appreciating the little successes – the little milestones along the way WHILE working toward completing the “Puzzle”. They are important for our mentality and keeping our moral up as we continue moving forward. They will help to prevent us from becoming discouraged and giving up. If you are serious about transforming your body then you should take the time to set up smart goals for yourself.
Keep at it everyone! Train hard and be proud of all the steps you take and accomplishments you make! Celebrate the small victories and keep your chin up!