S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

Last Sunday, a friend of ours gave an awesome talk in church on setting goals.  As soon as he started, I knew it was going to be good so I pulled out a paper and pen to take notes.
At his work, they use an acronym when they set goals–S.M.A.R.T.  (You can read more about this method on Wikipedia.  I guess this is a popular method that I’ve never heard of before.)

Beginning last January, I got a new notebook and made a list of general goals for the entire year.  Then I started a separate page for each month with goals that were more specific and would help me reach the larger goal.  It helped me stay more organized and it was easier to check back in and see how I was doing.

First thing Monday morning, I got up early and pulled out my notes from the talk.  I flipped my notebook open to my 2011 Goals and got to work converting them to the S.M.A.R.T. plan.

A few things I’ve read over the last few weeks have helped me to modify my health goals a bit.  Applying the S.M.A.R.T. method has made them seem reachable.

This is from USU.
Right now my biggest goal is to once and for all become free of my weight and eating problems.  I could go into more detail, and may at a later date.  Suffice it to say, this is my Everest.Losing weight has been on my list as long as I can remember.  Each time I start back at the gym, I swear this is really going to be IT.  I’m going to do it THIS TIME.  And then life happens and I become less motivated or completely unmotivated.  Despite everything I read about loving my body the way it is, the fact remains:  I am overweight and need to get the weight off.  I just do.  But thinking about my ideal weight versus what I’m at now is very scary.  Hey, I’d be happy with 20 lbs.  And that seems reachable right now.  (Also, in the back of my head I am telling myself that number on the scale doesn’t matter.  I really just want to fit into a certain pair of pants again, and that is about  20 lbs. away from where I am today.)

Let me apply SMART to this goal:
S:  By my birthday (03/20) I want lose 20 lbs.  I will do this by exercising 3-5 days a week and eating healthy.M:  To keep on track, I’m going weigh myself each Monday and write the number down on the calendar.  I will also check off  each day I go to the gym.

A:  Two pounds a week is an attainable goal.  I’ve already lost 2 lbs. since last week.

R:  Each week I will sit down and review what I’ve been doing and revise as needed.  I will reward myself with something non-food, like more time by myself doing something I enjoy–writing or photography, or time with a friend on the phone or in person.  Also, I will report back to my support system on my progress.

T:  I’m giving myself 9.5 weeks to accomplish this goal.

I’m a newbie, so I hope I’ve been able to chart this correctly.  My other goals seem pretty manageable now that I’ve charted them.  One step at a time.  It seems so much easier and more attainable.  Real change seems possible.

What works for you?  Have you found a method that has helped you be successful?

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  1. I think the Dori method works for pretty much everything: Just keep swimming. Do something everyday, even if it’s a small thing to work towards your goal.

    Here’s another trick specific to weight loss. Put up a photo from when you weighed what you’d like to weigh by your goal, or even for your end result. It may sound silly, but it helps you to reprogram your mind, and your body image. For me, I had to search back about 12 years.

  2. I’ve never heard of this method, but it sounds much better than making the resolutions and then forgetting about them after a week. Good luck!

  3. I would question if 2 lbs a week is attainable. The first few weeks it may be doable by losing some water weight but that’s not really sustainable. I would be concerned you could end sick and/or really weak. The only time I lost that much weight that quickly was when I was incredibly sick.

  4. I like this method of goal setting. I’ve decided to break this year into monthly goals, thinking that if I work on a few things each month, hopefully when the next month rolls around I will have a few new habits. :-)
    Good luck with the gym. I go through this same cycle. YOU CAN DO it!

  5. This is going to sounds so bad but I have seriously been avoiding this post. I saw it up here on my google reader a couple days ago and told myself I would come back to it when my house was clean and I was feeling more organized. The house is messier today adn I can’t even find my notebook where I want to write this down. BUT, this post is exactly what I needed today.

  6. I’m so with you on the ‘measurable’ thing. I’ve found that a GREAT tool to help with weight loss is the calorie counter at Livestrong.com I started running in August and lost zippo weight until I also began to monitor my calories. Right now I’m aiming for no more than 1500 calories per day, and the calorie counter at Livestrong makes it easy to track how I’m doing. Since October I’ve lost 10 pounds, which puts me only 10 pounds above ‘normal’ weight for my height.

    Just thought I’d toss that out there as another trick in the ‘measurable’ department!

    Mary, mom to 10

  7. I’d also question whether your goal is attainable or realistic. One thing I’ve learned — especially in terms of weight loss — is that we’re only in charge of what we do, not how quickly it happens. I’d give it at least double the amount of time, if not longer.

    I doubt that you gained the 20 lbs you want to lose in 9.5 weeks!

  8. So far so good. I’m on track or almost on track. Even if I don’t make the 20 lbs., I’ll still be happy with my progress. I’m a fan of the slow and steady weight loss. It seems to be the kind that stays off.

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

  9. I love that. Smart. That is really smart.

    As for weight loss…I had me a big of a food issue, not so much a weight issue but more a serious food issue several years ago and I took a class at BYU called Intuitive Eating and it’s not a diet, it’s more a transformation in your relationship with food and thereby typically results in weight loss if one is overweight. It worked for me, I did lose weight and I have a much healthier relationship with food even still, probably 7 years later.

    This is a long comment. But the two books we read in the class were Overcoming Overeating and the second is called Intuitive Eating.

    Most people hate it because it’s not a diet and it’s very unconventional and doesn’t sound like it will work at all, but it’s a lifestyle change that will last and it totally worked/is working for me.

    Think about it…and I’d love to talk more with you about it if you want!! The books are great…

    Good luck!

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