Anyway, I'm Jess, and I blog over at Being Mrs. Beer. Yep, that's my real last name, but I just married into it, so I can't take credit for the cool factor on that. I live with my husband and 2.5 year old daughter, Abbie, about an hour west of D.C. Courtney and I have always had a lot in common, but one of those things? Working on our weight.
I'm a big Weight Watchers fan, and have been for over 10 years. Every week there's a specific topic every Weight Watchers meeting touches on. On one of my favorite weeks, we talked about goals and how to have a plan to meet them.
Goals can be really specific or really broad, but in my experience, it’s the small, specific goals that are the best. They're a lot easier to meet, and it creates a snowball effect. At work, they’re often called SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. As much as I hate to use business lingo in my personal life (seems so cliché), it’s a metric I’ve found really works.
So, let’s pull it apart, shall we? Start with the general goal of “I want to lose weight.” As far as SMART goes, that’s a pretty terrible goal. It doesn’t meet any of the metrics. Let’s make it better.
First, I usually tackle measureable. It’s usually pretty easy to put a number on things like this. Since we’re talking small goals, let’s make it “I want to lose 5 pounds.” See? Already better because you have a way to see your progress.
In this case, timely, achievable, and realistic go together, so I think of them all at once. Average healthy weight loss should be .5-2 pounds a week (Weight Watchers wisdom coming into play here). Since there’s 4-5 weeks in a month, that could be anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds in a month. 5 pounds is in the middle, so it’s completely achievable. Putting that time restraint on the goal gives you a little bit of a push. The goal then becomes “I want to lose 5 pounds in a month.”
That may be specific enough for some people, but often you need a bit more guidance than that. Specific is where you tackle the how. How are you going to achieve that goal? Put it right in there. For me, it’s tracking my food, eating healthier, and moving more. The goal becomes “I want to lose 5 pounds in a month by eating healthier, moving more, and tracking my food and exercise.” You could drill down and get more specific than that – include how long you’re going to work out, what you’re going to eat, etc. Some people need more detail than others.
So what are some other examples of SMART goals?
Do you set goals for yourself? Do you agree that small goals are a great way to get started?