Monday, February 27, 2012

Ready, Set, GOALS! Be SMART About Achieving your GOALS!

Weight Loss Warriors!

It's time to set your goals for the 90 Day Weight Loss Challenge!

Perhaps you want to lose a certain amount of weight,  exercise more, lower your blood pressure or cholesterol.  Whatever it is, define it and be specific and know why you want to achieve the goal, as well.
Goals have many different levels. First create your "big picture" goal. Second, break this down into smaller and smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your “Big Picture” goal. Finally, once you have your plan, start working to achieve it.
The SMART METHOD for achieving goals.
I encourage you to write down the goals you want to reach. Evaluate your goals and make changes, as necessary to fit the SMART Goals Criteria below: 
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
Specific is the what, why, and how of the SMART method.
WHAT are you going to do? WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish? HOW are you going to do it?

Be sure the goals you set are very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 10 pounds or to walk 2 miles at a moderate pace.
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! "I want to lose 10 pounds by
November 15, 2012,” is a specific target to be measured. "I want to lose weight this year” or “I want to be healthier" is not as measurable.  With measurement you are able to celebrate your achievements!  Furthermore, an ounce is some weight.
Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won't commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it's too much for you means subconsciously you will always be reminded of this fact and it will stop you from even giving it your best.
If you aim to lose 25 pounds in one week, we all know that isn't achievable. But setting a goal to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week is attainable and when you've achieved that goal the first week, you’ll celebrate.  Aiming to lose another 1 to 2 pounds, will keep it achievable for you.
Come up with a plan which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment.  A goal of never again eating sweets, chips or chocolate may not be realistic for you.  However, a more realistic goal would be to eat a piece of fruit each day instead of one sweet item. You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of sweets you eat gradually.
Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren't very capable.
Set a timeframe for the goal!  If you don't set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now.  Remember to keep your time commitment measurable, attainable and realistic!

Ready!  Set! GOALS!!!

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