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  • Jennifer Bradford

How to make realistic goals to ensure success

Updated: Mar 1

One of the most effective ways to set goals is to use the SMART principle.


SMART is an acronym that stands for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, and TIME BOUND.


SMART goals transform subjective goals in objective goals and offer the ability to measure and quantify progress made towards a said goal. 


Let’s use this goal as an example: “I want to do more cardio”:


running

This is a really common goal, but it’s too vague.


In order to make it more likely to achieve this goal, we need to apply the SMART principle.


SPECIFIC: The goal developed is well-defined and clear as to what is intended to be accomplished : “Walking” is more specific than “cardio”


MEASURABLE: The goal provides specific criteria to follow and it clearly defines the extent to which the action needs to occur: “3 miles”


ACHIEVABLE: This is going to depend upon each individual and it depends upon your time constraints, physical ability, mental ability


RELEVANT: The goal demonstrates relevance because it aligns with your desired health outcome. This is also going to vary individually


TIME-BOUND: The goal has a clearly defined time frame. Helps prevent procrastination. Provides sense of urgency: “Two times a week for the next 6 weeks”


So, let’s put our SMART goal together. Initially, we wanted to “do more cardio”


By applying the SMART principle we came up with:


“I will walk 3 miles 2 days a week for the next 6 weeks”


This is achievable because you realistically have the time to walk this amount twice per week in your current schedule (varies individually)


This is relevant because you have a long term goal of increasing your cardiovascular fitness and achieving a healthy weight (varies individually)


Practice coming up with your own SMART goals and see how much it helps you in attaining them!


This is something that a coach can help you with as well and of course help guide you toward that goal or adjust it as needed.


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