Making SMART goals SMARTER

August 16, 2009 at 5:48 pm 4 comments

A couple of people on the Turbulence Training forum have commented on the way I phrase my weekly goals so I have decided to write a post about it. The thing about goals is that they should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-limited

Let’s start with SPECIFIC: instead of saying “I will eat healthier”, go for something like “I will get 9 servings of fruit and veg every day this week”. Instead of “I’ll do more exercise”, try “I will go for a 30 minute walk after dinner three days this week”.

Both of these goals are also MEASURABLE – there is a standard by which you know if you have achieved the goal – the number of servings, or the number of times you went for a walk. Other examples: “I will exercise 5 hours this week”, “I will meditate twice this week”. Also, wisdom says you should not use ‘negative’ goals, as in “I won’t eat junk food” but rephrase it so it is a positive goal, e.g. “I will eat only healthy food cooked from fresh ingredients this week.”

ACHIEVABLE covers a few things, but one of the most important is that it must be something that it is within your power to achieve. A lot of people set goals like “I will lose 2 pounds this week”. While that is specific and measurable, it is not entirely within your control. You may do everything right but still only lose a pound. The rate at which weight comes off your body is not entirely down to you – there are a lot of other factors involved. Stick to things that you can control, your own behaviours – what you eat, the exercise you do, the choices you make. Otherwise, you can work really hard and still not achieve your goals. You are setting yourself up for disappointment, and making you much more likely to give up in frustration and what’s-the-point-itis. By making my goals this year SMART and health-related, I have been able to see my progress and stay motivated even when the scale has not gone down as I would have liked. Like I said to hubby the other day, my goal is to be healthier (only more specific) – if I don’t lose weight, I’m not going to turn around and say ‘Hmph, that’s it then, what’s the point, i’m going to start being unhealthy again’!

REALISTIC ranges from not losing track of reality: “Next time I see my ex I will have a degree in astrophysics, weigh 50 kilos and be 3 inches taller”, to sensible time frames, i.e. achievable within the time. On the administration control panel for this blog I get to see what people have typed into search engines that has brought them to my page. You would be amazed how often I see things like “Lose 5 stone in 2 weeks” – hah, the bots are going to pick that one up now!! By setting unrealistic goals, again, you are setting yourself up for failure.

The last one is perhaps one of the most important and most often overlooked: TIME-LIMITED. Notice, all of my goals above specify a time frame. Other examples, I will do yoga twice this week. I will go swimming every weekend this month. That kind of thing. If you don’t time limit your goals, you are always striving and never actually get the satisfaction of achieving your goals.

If, like me, you get a kick out of ticking things off your ‘to do’ list, you can either make a real list and stick it on your fridge, in your purse, whatever, or use an online goal tracker like Joe’s Goals to track your progress. I find this really helps keep me honest and helps motivate me, especially towards the end of the week if I’m not hitting my targets.

And finally, I recently saw a post on Tom Venuto’s Burn The Fat blog about how to make SMART goals SMARTER. He added an extra two criteria:

  • Emotion
  • Review

The EMOTION part is about focusing on the emotional reasons why you want to achieve your goal. You need to figure out what’s driving you. Why do you want to achieve your goals, deep down. I want to lose weight? Why? So I will look better in clothes. Why? So I will feel sexier. Why? Because if I feel attractive to others it boosts my confidence and makes me feel better about myself. Break it down. It’s the last part of that equation you need to concentrate on. It will be completely individual to you. You may even think your reasons are silly on not particularly deep, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to tell anybody what is driving you, but you do need to figure it out for yourself. And repeat it. Often. Every time you are struggling with one of your goals, remind yourself of your emotional driver.

And finally, the REVIEW part is one of the techniques that successful people claim works for them. They write their goals down on a card and carry it around with them. They look at it several times a day. They stand in the mirror and repeat it to themselves ten times before brushing their teeth morning and night. I’ll be honest, I don’t do this. At the moment, I am quite focussed on short term goals and I review these every week. But ideally you should also have some medium- and long-term goals, and it is these that can slip if you don’t stay focussed on them.

Happy goal setting.


Entry filed under: exercise, fat loss, heath and fitness, inspiration, motivation, Tom Venuto, weight loss.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rob  |  August 18, 2009 at 3:28 am

    One of your best blogs ever. I am going to copy this and use it as my guide for setting goals.

    • 2. blubberbegone  |  August 18, 2009 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Rob. I know I have been struggling a bit the last couple of weeks, but it is this method of focussing and goal setting that has got me as far as I have managed in the first seven months of the year without getting derailed and discouraged. It really does make a difference.

  • […] yourself three SMART goals. For information on how to set SMART goals, click here. One goal must be a nutrition goal, one an exercise goal and one a lifestyle goal (could be […]

  • 4. Hayley’s Birthday Challenge « BlubberBeGone  |  June 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    […] know why I don’t usually advocate setting weight loss goals (and those that don’t can check it out here). But just this once, and for the hell of it, I’ve decided to throw my hat in the ring and […]


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Blubberbegone Stats

  • Start: 16 stone, 45.7% body fat
  • Goal: 10 stone, 20% body fat
  • Today: 14 stone 13.6 lbs, 44.8% BF
  • Pounds lost: 14.4
  • Body fat lost: 0.9%
  • Exercise this week (Sat–Fri):
  • Total: 2 hr 5 mins
  • Jog/Walk: 20 mins
  • Walking: 20 mins
  • Burlesque: 1 hr
  • Pilates: 25 mins
  • African dance: mins
  • Tae Kwon Do: mins
  • Badminton: mins
  • Tai Chi: mins
  • Yoga: hr
  • Exercise last week: 4 hrs 40 mins
  • Joke of the Day

    I'm not fat - I'm a woman and a half.


    My Weight Loss Goals

  • 1. Crack 15 stone (210 lbs) for the fourth and final (I hope) time.
  • 2. Lose 10% of my body fat (14 stone 4).
  • 3. Fit into a size 18 (US 16).
  • 4. Get my body fat below 40%
  • 5. Lose another 10% of my body fat (12 stone 12/180 lbs).
  • 6. Get my BMI under 30 (12 stone 9/177 lbs) - no longer obese, just overweight now.
  • 7. Weigh less than my husband.
  • 8. Fit into a size 16 (US 14).
  • 9. Lose my third 10% (11 stone 8/162 lbs).
  • 10. Fit into a size 14 (US 12).
  • 11. Get my BMI under 25 (10 stone 8/148 lbs).
  • 12. Lose my fourth 10% (10 stone 6/ 146 lbs).
  • 13. Fit into a size 12 (US 10).
  • 14. Reach my goal weight (10 stone) and decide if I need to lose any more based on my muscularity and shape.
  • 15. Turn heads in a bikini!
  • My Fitness Goals for 2011

  • 1. Increase my cruising walking speed from around 5.0kph to 6.4kph.
  • 2. Increase continuous jogging time to 30 mins.
  • 3. Run a 5K for charity.
  • 4. Work on my crawl stroke and build up to 30 mins continuous swimming.
  • 5. Build up to 1 hour continuous and comfortable cycling.
  • 6. Squat 50kg.
  • 7. Do an unassisted chin up.
  • 8. Take a martial arts or self-defence class for at least 3 months.
  • 9. Beat my husband at badminton.
  • 10. Learn a new dance style.
  • My Blubber Reduction Journey

  • My highest measured weight ever:
  • Jan 1 2006 = 238 lbs (17 stone)
  • BBG blog starting weight:
  • Sep 16 2007 = 215.5 lbs (15 stone 5.5), 47.0% BF Lean body mass 114.2 lbs (8 stone 2.2)
  • Highest weight posted since then:
  • Xmas 2008 = 223.6 lbs (15 stone 13.6), 48.2% BF, lean body mass 116.0 lbs (8 stone 4)
  • Lowest weight posted since then:
  • Nov 16 2009 = 193.2 lbs (13 stone 11.2), 43.7% BF, lean body mass 108.8 lbs (7 stone 10.8)
  • Lowest body fat posted since then:
  • Sep 7 2009 = 194.2 lbs (13 stone 12.2), 42.6% BF, lean body mass 111.5 lbs (7 stone 13.5)
  • My blubber reduction journey 2011:
  • Xmas 2010 = 221.6 lbs, 46.7% BF, 118.1 lbs LBM
  • 5 Jan = 221.0 lbs, 47.1% BF
  • 12 Jan = 219.6 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 19 Jan = 220.4 lbs, 45.8% BF (TTOM)
  • 26 Jan = 218.8 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Feb = 218.8 lbs, 44.7% BF
  • 9 Feb = 219.4 lbs, 44.9% BF
  • 16 Feb = 215.8 lbs, 44.6% BF
  • 23 Feb = 213.2 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Mar = 211.6 lbs, 45.9% BF
  • 9 Mar = 209.8 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 16 Mar = 208.8 lbs, 45.3% BF
  • 23 Mar = 208.0 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 13 Apr = 208.4 lbs, 44.4% BF
  • 20 Apr = 207.6 lbs, 43.3% BF
  • 27 Apr = 205.0 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 4 May = 209.2 lbs, 45.2% BF (TTOM)
  • No. weeks: 18
  • Average weekly weight loss: 0.31%
  • 101 in 1001

    28 down, 5 goals revoked, 68 to go, and 94 days to do them. Check out the 101 page, above, for all the latest on my journey to be a better blubberbegone.


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