It is the time of the year when everyone becomes hyped up with their new year resolutions! Common resolutions like “I want to be fit this year” is achievable, but do you have a clear direction for it?
Identifying what you want is just the first step – you should also be making a plan to achieve it! Here comes the importance of goal setting. Many of us may know about SMART goals, and for the uninitiated, it is an acronym for the following words: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based.
The SMART goals may seem like a fair framework for personal development, but you may struggle with the necessary next steps if you have certain expectations. Here’s what you need to know beyond the SMART goals:
1. Besides being specific and measurable, your goal first needs to be realistic!
One simply doesn’t put on weight over weeks. Just because you are doing a habitual change by choosing quality food choices and abiding by your new training regime, it does not mean that you would be Captain America in 12 weeks! Results show with the consistency of hard work, and you would definitely be a better self this time next year, if you tell yourself to start making a change today.
2. Focus on the process rather than outcome – give yourself a deadline to abide by.
Instead of setting a goal like, “I want to lose 10kg in 6 months”, you should set it as such: “I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, by putting on my running shoes 3 times a week.”
Notice that I didn’t specifically mention “run”? Your goal needs to be challenging and achievable, so do not restrict yourself and allow yourself to have some level of flexibility. By “putting on your running shoes”, it means that you can go for a run, a jog, or even a walk! As long as you get yourself more active than before, you are getting closer to losing that 10kg in 6 months. Some progress is better than none at all. Outcome goal tends to dishearten and discourage you when you fail to meet it.
3. Set your short-term goal
A short-term goal is one that you need to focus on achieving, on a monthly basis. I would state my short-term goal as such: “I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, by putting on my running shoes 3 times a week in January.”
By achieving your short-term goal of “putting on your running shoes three times a week in January”, you’re getting closer to your long-term goal – that is, losing 10kg in 6 months.
4. Do not avoid your guilty pleasures!
When you fail to achieve your short-term progress goals, it’s always easy to make yourself feel better by avoiding your favourite food in its entirety. “NO fried foods, NO desserts” are common mantras to compensate for the failure, but these are restrictions that you are creating for yourself, and I cannot emphasise enough the number of times I’ve seen it backfire.
Think of it from another perspective and include new routines to facilitate you to achieve your goal! Here are some examples of revised short-term goals:
“I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, by including 2 portions of veggies in every meal I have in February.”
“I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, by placing quality food as my diet priority in March.”
Sounds achievable and more motivating to you?
5. Do not be afraid to change or re-adjust your short-term goal
“I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, BY including 2 portions of veggies in every meal I have in February.”
If you think taking two portions of veggies is too difficult for you, change it! How does one portion per meal sounds?
If your goal is too easy and you want to make it more challenging, include new short-term goals or improve the existing one! An improved short-term goal may sound something like this: “I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, by including 8 portions of veggies everyday in February.”
A new short-term goal would be: “I want to lose 10kg in 6 months, by including more different types of vegtables in my meals in March.”
Your short-term goals are like mini checkpoints to help you to stay on track and help you achieve your end goals. Good luck!
Photos by Brandon Neo of the DANAMIC team