A NEW YEAR, A NEW YOU–PART 2 (S.M.A.R.T. GOALS)

Last week’s column was about taking a look at how things went in 2010 and setting some new fitness goals for this year. This week I want to take a closer look at those new goals.

Hopefully, you had a chance to write a few things down. Remember, things that get written down are much more likely to get done. You can further increase your chances of success by having what we call S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S. is for Specific. These are goals where you know exactly what you want to do. For example, you want to lose 50 lbs. That’s pretty specific. Write it down.

M. is for Motivating. This means you’ll be excited or happy when you achieve them. How would you feel if you lost 50 lbs? You’d be looking pretty good, right? That’s pretty motivating. You can also be motivated by how you’ll continue to feel if you don’t do something about it.

A. is for Achievable. An achievable goal is one that you can actually accomplish. If you want to lose 50 lbs in one month, it’s probably not very realistic for you. Losing 1-2 lbs a week is probably more achievable. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week is both achievable and safe.

R. is for Relevant. The goal has to really mean something or be important to you. If it’s not very important, you’re not likely to keep working toward it. If it’s crucial to you, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it done. Ask yourself why you want to lose the 50 lbs. What will it mean to you? Why now?

T. is for Trackable. This is pretty important, because you need to track and measure your progress as you work toward achieving your goal. Getting on the scale once a week is just about right. More than that will drive you crazy with all the little ups and downs that occur. Weighing once a week will show you the trend—and that’s what’s important. It will let you know if you’re right on track, or if your train has jumped the track.

Once you have your S.M.A.R.T. goals, the main thing is to get moving. We can be more specific about how to exercise, but you just need to get moving. The other thing is to start watching what you eat. Knock out the junk. Write down your calories for awhile until you’re sure you’re eating right.

There are several good websites out there that will help you do that. A friend of mine just told me about a new phone application that will even let you track your calories on your smart phone! Go to http://www.myfitnesspal.com and give it a look. Or go to http://www.myfitnessdiary.com or http://www.calorieking.com .

So go set some S.M.A.R.T. goals already. Good luck getting started and I’ll see you in the gym!

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