Many of my clients come to me with very specific goals, like “I want to lose 15 pounds in one month” or “I want to lose my stomach flab by my trip to Maui in a few months”. While I commend my clients for setting SMART Goals, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Specific, I often have to have a conversation with them about how “Realistic and Attainable” their goals are. Is it possible to lose 15 pounds in one month? Absolutely. Will it be easy and will they enjoy the process? Absolutely not. Typically, when I lay out the plan of action, their eyes glaze over and they are hit with the reality that the goal they want may require more than they are willing to do to reach that goal in that amount of time.
One thing that I work on with my clients is setting goals that are motivating and actually make them excited to push for. How do I do that? We change the focus from achieving a specific result to adopting a specific habit, which will ultimately lead to their desired results. There is power in forming healthy habits, mainly because once you form those habits, naturally they will lead to results of getting healthier, losing weight, feeling better and more.
When I task my clients to set goals, I give them these specifics and I call them SMART 2.0 Goals:
- Meaningful & Motivating
- Action Oriented
- Time Framed
For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 15 pounds in one month”, your goal would look something like this:
Weight Loss SMART Goal 2.0: I will lose 15 pounds by developing the habit of eating a healthy breakfast and taking my dog on a 30 minute walk every morning for the next 4 weeks.
This type of goal setting provides you with a better aim and focus on developing habits, also it gives you a better idea of what you need to do each day to make that goal become a reality. You are no longer focusing on the 15 pounds, instead you are focusing on creating a habit to eat a healthier breakfast and to use your dog walking time to be active. By the end of the month, will you have reached your goal of 15 pounds of weight loss? Maybe or maybe not, but will you be well on your way? Absolutely! Will you feel good about yourself if you are able to make two small adjustments to your daily routine that will lead to feeling better, looking better, having more energy, fueling your body, and spending more quality time with your dog? Absolutely! If you keep this habit up and make it a lifestyle change, will you eventually lose those 15 pounds? HECK YES!
This type of goal setting is great because at the end of the day you are forming habits that will lead to a healthier lifestyle and the bonus will be the weight loss or whatever result you are looking for. Aristotle nailed it when he said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”
If you would like to learn more about how to set better goals to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, connect with me on Facebook and send me a message.