Goals aren’t just what you want to achieve in a month, half a year, or five years; they are the roadmap of how you’ll get there. It isn’t enough to say “I want to lose weight” or “I want to learn some Spanish.” You need a well-established action plan to reach a defined and precise goal. Let’s take a look at how you can create S.M.A.R.T. goals for aesthetics, fitness, and life in general.
First, grab yourself a notebook and pen, or your laptop. You’ll need to write down each step of this S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Whatever you’d like to achieve – weight loss, learning a language, or writing a book – you need to make the goal as detailed as possible. The more detail you add, the more tangible the goal becomes. Don’t be afraid to write an entire page. You’ll also want to add the emotional “Why?” factor.
Example of a specific goal: I want to lose 15 pounds while tightening my arms and core. I am tired of feeling miserable when I look in the mirror, and I would like my family to notice my improvements during the holidays.
Once you have your goal written down, you’ll need to set a macro, meso, and micro timetable.
Macro: The long-term end date. When you write down your macro date, it’s usually one year from when you start. Using the example above: I will lose 15 pounds on the scale, 2 inches from my waist, and look noticeably leaner by (one year from when you start).
It also works with life goals, not just fitness: I will achieve a B2 fluency in Spanish by (one year later).
Meso: This is your month by month timetable. Using your macro (long term) goal, how can you break that down into 12 months?
If you want to lose 15 pounds, your monthly goal would be between 1 and 1 ½ pounds. If you want to become fluent in Spanish, your monthly goal might be mastering one section in the textbook you purchased.
Micro: This is going to be your weekly timetable, and your day to day action steps for getting to your goal.
With weight loss, this will be your fitness program, nutrition plan, and thermogenic supplement regimen. For language learning, this could be one chapter per week.
You have your goal listed and a year timetable of milestones. How will you attain your goal?
Write down the resources that you’ll need. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, you might need a gym membership, a nutrition plan, a workout program, and dietary supplements.
If you want to learn Spanish, you might need a textbook, flashcards, and a membership to a video conferencing website to chat with native speakers.
Review your goal and ask yourself, “Is this doable?”
If you create an unrealistic goal, you’re setting yourself up for frustration and potentially failure. Are you trying to gain 20 pounds of muscle in a month? Want to become a master painter in 6 months?
Research average and reasonable lengths of time for achieving your goal. It’s normal and healthy to lose around one-pound per month. For language learning, six months of consistent practice and you should be able to get by just fine.
Whatever your goal, make sure you understand the realistic amount of time it will take to achieve.
Finally, put an official date on your goal. Your macro timetable gives you a year, but you might only need 8 months to see the results you want.
After you research the amount of time it should realistically take you to accomplish your goal, do the math, give yourself an extra month for wiggle room, then circle the end date on your calendar.
Once you reach that date, if you’re not close to achieving your goal, that’s okay. Goals are flexible and ever-changing. Simply start from the beginning, set new dates, and get back on track.
What is a S.M.A.R.T. Goal That You Set?
Do you want to lose weight this year? If so, how will you achieve that goal? Going to fly to Chile and want to chat with locals? What’s your plan for learning a language? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.