Are Your Goals Really SMART? Plus 3 Tips for Fixing Them

To piggyback off of last week's newsletter, we will focus on how to create goals that we can stick to.  As we plan for the year ahead, I’m sure most of us have written down or created a few goals for ourselves.  And as I’m sure most of you have heard before, using the acronym SMART is great way to do that.

    S - Specific

    M - Measurable  

    A - Attainable

    R - Relevant

    T - Timely

But often times we fall short.  Why? Because we don’t put enough effort into figuring out the R. SMAT goals are prevalent, especially in the exercise and nutrition world. 20lbs in 10 weeks, marathon by October, lose 5% bodyfat by summer. All great goals, but where is the meaning behind them?  Without that, you’re almost destined to fail. And I’m talking about the true, deep down, I’m not going to quit under any circumstances meaning, not the scratch the surface, this sounds pretty good meaning. If we can figure that out, then we’re in business.

So how do we do this?

1) Determine your Readiness, Willingness, and how Able you are to change.

    Ready - Are you ok with how things are? Or are you sick of them and ready for something new?

    Willing - Are you pretty open to change?  Or do hate it and want to be left alone?

    Able - Is now the right time for change?  Or are there a ton of obstacles in your life right now?

2) Ask yourself why?

    Our values are important and if we are living according to those values, life and our healthy habits often flow with minimal effort.  So it’s important to sync up those actions with those values. If you don’t, changing can be very difficult (especially when it comes to your exercise and nutrition).  

3) Visualize the future You

    It’s really easy to determine the ‘bad’, the ‘get rid of’, or the “don’t want”.  And it’s important to know these things, but does it allow for a plan of action? More often than not, it doesn’t and you end up spinning your wheels, stuck with the status quo.

Action Steps:

Get a piece of paper, google doc, or whatever you use to put down your thoughts and follow steps 1-3

  1. Once you’ve created your goal, rate yourself on a scale on 1-10 on these 3 questions:

  • How ready are you to change? 1-10 (Too soon - Bring it on!)

  • How willing are you to change?  1-10 (No Change - Change Me!)

  • How able are you to change? 1-10 (Can’t do it right now - I have all the tools and support)

    • If you’re not at least an 8, ask yourself why.  Are there specific obstacles in the way or is the goal too lofty to begin with?

  1. Then dive into your true meaning

  • Ask yourself why you want to accomplish that goal?  

  • Once you have an answer, ask yourself why that is important?  

  • Then ask yourself would that matter?

  • And why is that important?  

  • And why does that matter?

  1. Determine what you WANT.

    • Imagine yourself a year from now…

      • What does that look like?

      • What do you want to be, what do you want to do, how do you want to feel?

I guarantee if you put some thought into the R of your SMART goal, you will have increased motivation and inspiration to complete your goals. Now, of course, you still have to put in the work and it will still be a challenge, but this will set you up for success A LOT MORE than just “I want to lose 20lbs in 10 weeks.”  Try it out!

References: Precision Nutrition ProCoach Software. Berardi, John, Ph.D. <>