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Comanche Trace

What Are Your Goals?

Posted by Jane on October 1, 2012 at 4:05 AM

Now that those lazy days are fading, there are no excuses! The weather is wonderful, and it’s calling your name! The autumn months are the perfect time to re-think your fitness program. Or perhaps you’ve never had a fitness program. Well, it’s time to change all that. It’s time to set some goals. We can’t accomplish anything if we don’t have a goal, right? Let’s talk a little about goal setting …

ARE THEY YOUR GOALS?

There’s a definite difference between goals others “suggest” for us and goals we set for ourselves.

EXTRINSIC GOALS are those hints or suggestions that well-intentioned friends, loved ones, or perhaps even your doctor have given you. Extrinsic is defined as “being or coming from the outside”. As good as they may be, if you haven’t internalized these goals, the incentive to accomplish them is just not there – at least not for the long-term. Even a short-term goal to lose ten pounds before the next class reunion is merely extrinsic if, after the reunion, you gain the weight back because the timeframe is over.

INTRINSIC GOALS, however, are what you really need. If a goal is intrinsic, it is not dependent on external circumstances. It is internal – it is inside of you. You want it to happen because you know it’s right. Even if someone else suggested the goal, you have accepted the fact that it is something you need to do. You’ve bought into the concept. The light bulb went off. You get it!

ARE THEY S.M.A.R.T. GOALS?

The acronym S.M.A.R.T. goals was initially directed toward a business perspective. In a 1981 publication of Management Review, (Volume 11, 1981), G.T. Doran introduced it as an effective way to write management’s goals and objectives. In further study, though, it’s obvious that this S.M.A.R.T. concept has a broader outreach. Let’s see how it applies to fitness goals.

SPECIFIC
What is it that you specifically want to accomplish? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to follow a specific fitness routine? Do you want to improve your sports performance?

Why does this matter to you? (Intrinsic) Who needs to help you accomplish the goal? - trainer, coach, friend … Where are you going to do it? – gym, outside, golf course, etc.

MEASURABLE
How will you measure progress?

ATTAINABLE
How will you accomplish your goal? Is it reasonable?

RELEVANT
Why is this important to you? How will this change your life?

TIME-BOUND
How long will this take to accomplish? What happens if you reach the goal? Do you continue the program?

LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE

FORMER GOAL:
I want to start exercising to lose a few pounds, and maybe it will help my golf game.

S.M.A.R.T. GOAL:
I need to find a fitness trainer who will design a program for me that includes cardio, strength, and core training that will help me lose ten pounds in three months. I will monitor my eating to focus on nutritious choices and rid my house of all junk food. I will set up a lesson series with my golf professional to analyze my swing and outline practice ideas to improve my weaknesses.

Is it specific? Definitely!
Is it measurable? Yes. I can track my weight loss and my golf scores.
Is it attainable? Yes. I have a plan on how these goals can be accomplished, in a reasonable time period.
Is it relevant? Yes. I realize how much it means to me to find a way to lose weight and keep it off with a lifestyle change of fitness and proper nutrition. Golf is my passion, so it’s important that I’m playing to the best of my ability.
Is it time-bound? Yes. I’m giving myself three months to reach the initial goal. Beyond that, I’m trusting that the habits I’ve made will become an integral part of my life.

Do yourself a favor. Begin this fall with a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Jane

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