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  • Writer's pictureThe Med Gym

Setting and Hitting Goals Part 2 - Get Specific

Updated: Jan 13




By David Drinks



In last week's blog (check it out here if you missed it), I stated that "goal setting absolutely does work." But, for it to work for you, you need to apply the correct process.



That is what we are focusing on today - the correct process for you to set goals that you can actually accomplish!



I hope that I can coach you through setting goals the right way so that you can avoid the standard "New Year's Resolution" trap.



When you commit to something explicitly or implicitly and do not stick to that commitment, it is like breaking a promise to yourself. You feel bad because it feels like you both lied and were lied to.



We have all been there, and it is a hopeless feeling.



Well, it does not have to be this way!



You do not need to get stuck in the cycle of intending to make a change or hit a goal, only to lose momentum and hope after six weeks.



But how do we break this cycle? 



Change is hard. The New Year's Resolutions stats demonstrate this fact.



Based on the surveys and research I have seen (like this article), approximately 40% of U.S. adults set New Year's Resolutions. 



How many of those who set resolutions stick with them? Less than 10%.



And that is not only the case for New Year's Resolutions. One of the most challenging things is sticking with any goal or intention to change.



We are not robots. We cannot sustain the same level of motivation or willpower forever.



We often have evolving life circumstances and priorities that make it challenging to stick to something you chose to prioritize two months ago.



We are busy. I do not know anyone who does not already have a full plate. Most people tend to overcommit (or be voluntold) to do more than they can handle.



Even so, many people have the nagging sense that something in their lives needs to improve or change. And if you read my post last week, you know that anything in any area of your life that is not exactly how you want it to be may be an implicit goal (even if you have not said it out loud yet).



So, if you have identified something in your life that is not how it should be, and you are ready to make a change, I am here to help you.



You can overcome the challenges associated with setting and hitting goals. You can make positive changes, even if they are difficult.



It all starts with setting the right goal in the right way.



Let's dive into how to do that now.



Over the next five weeks, I will walk you through the SMART goal-setting framework to coach you on each component. If you stick with me and implement each step, you will see how you can stick to your goals because you set them correctly!



SMART goal-setting is nothing new - it has been around since the 1980's.



I would not be surprised if you have heard about this framework before.



But knowing about something and taking action on it are two different things. My plan with this series is more than just to talk about SMART goals. It is to get you to take action and implement!



So, what is a SMART goal? 



If you have not heard of this framework before, a SMART goal stands for a goal that is:



  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Actionable/Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound



The SMART acronym provides a framework to ensure we can and will accomplish our goals. All you need to do is spend enough time up-front to run your goal through this system and complete all the steps.



Doing so ensures you have the correct goal, motivation, feedback, and an action plan to make your goal more than a wish!



Let's start with step one today by getting Specific.



The first problem many face when setting and hitting goals is that they only have wishes and vague intentions.



You may have identified something you want to be different. But it is just a wish until we get specific about what that thing is and what success in that area looks like.



Let me use an example I often hear when a new client comes to us at The Med Gym. I always ask about their goal, and usually, I hear something like, "I just want to be healthier."



While you may think that is a good goal, it is actually not a goal. We have not gotten specific enough about what "healthier" means.



To get specific on your goal, you must know why you want to get healthier, what the outcome of "healthier" is, and how you will get healthier.



Let's run with this example and get specific answers to these questions:



Why do you want to get healthier? 



Is it because you want to prevent disease onset and maximize your lifespan? 



Is it because you want to be able to pick up grandkids or get down on the floor to play with them without hurting yourself?



Is it because you have loved ones who count on your income, and you do not want to jeopardize your ability to earn an income?



Is it because you want to feel more energized and less limited daily?



There are a ton of potential answers here. Why do you want to get healthier?



Decide.



What is the outcome - what does "healthier" tangibly mean?



Do you mean you want to lose weight?



Do you want to decrease chronic pain?



Do you want to reduce the amount of medications you are taking?



Do you want to overcome a lifestyle disease like Type II Diabetes or Metabolic Syndrome?



Do you want to be stronger so you are less at risk of breaking bones or hurting your back?



There are numerous potential answers to what "healthier" means.



What does it mean for you?



Decide.



How will you get healthier?



Will you focus on weight loss?



Will you dedicate yourself to an exercise routine?



Will you improve your diet?



Will you seek medical care to overcome pain or a disease that you are not managing as well as you could?



Will you hire a coach, trainer, or nutritionist?



How will you get healthier?



Decide.



As you start making your goals SMART, you will see that you already implicitly know much of the information required to set a good goal.



Most people simply have not done the work of getting specific and writing this stuff down.



You can only run or walk after you learn to crawl. And you can only hit a goal once it is clearly defined!



"I want to get healthier" gives you no actionable plan. Try this instead:



I want to get healthier because I have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, and I do not want to face the painful and life-altering consequences of uncontrolled Diabetes. My A1C is currently 7.5%, and my initial goal is to reduce it to under 7% within the next 6 months.



To get on top of this, I will consult with my doctor on the next steps, learn about what initial dietary changes will make the most impact, and hire a personal trainer to develop an exercise routine for me and ensure I stay accountable for doing it.



Now, we have a specific goal that leads to the start of an actionable plan.



So, I want you to apply this step to your goal - whatever it may be.



Take something nagging at you that you are motivated to change, and get very specific.



Why do you want to make this change?



What is the tangible outcome of this change?



How will this change become a reality?



Complete the step of getting specific on your goals, and I'll be back next week to walk you through the next step - making goals measurable.




 

P.S. If you identify a health and fitness goal as one of your top priorities this year, we want to help! 


One of our expert fitness coaches will sit down with you to walk you through our SMART goal-setting system, help you identify the path to success, and design your ideal exercise and nutrition plan.


Contact us here to schedule a free consultation!



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