Whether you’re looking to lose weight, exercise more, cut back on sugar or get more sleep, how you approach your healthy lifestyle goal has more bearing on your success than you might think.
The more specific and detailed you are about the goal and how you’ll reach it makes its eventual achievement far more likely.
What’s the difference?
The first goal is vague and abstract. There’s a loose destination in mind but no road-map to get there and no timeline for the journey.
The second goal is a SMARTY. That’s not praise, but an acronym crafting detailed goals that increases their likelihood of success. Regardless of the goal — big or small, fitness-related or not — formulating plans according to the SMARTY framework provides a clear way forward, along with multiple intervention opportunities to further refine and illuminate the path.
What Is A SMARTY Goal?
Let’s take a look at each of these elements and how they work.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do SMARTY goals look like in real life? Let’s take a look at some FAQs…
How Can I Make Exercise A Habit?
Get SMARTY about it! First, think about why establishing an exercise habit is important to you. For instance, do you need more energy and stamina to keep up with your kids? More productive hours during the day to handle work and school?
Then, imagine what an ideal exercise habit might look like for you.
Would you run every morning before work? Hit the gym a few nights a week on the way home? Walk on your lunch break? Play tennis or go hiking on weekends?
Once you’ve developed an idea of what a good exercise routine for you might look like, work backward to set SMARTY goals around this new behavior. Identify a specific activity you intend to do and how often you want to do it, then check in with yourself to monitor your progress.
What Are Some Common Exercise And Fitness Myths?
The greatest myth is that some people are “cut out for exercise” and others aren’t. Hogwash! Everybody can exercise, and everyone should! Besides the physical payoff of greater strength and flexibility, exercise provides bountiful benefits to the brain and body-regulating systems, including boosting immunity and improving digestion. Using the SMARTY parameters around an exercise or other healthy-living goal makes success more likely.
What Should My Workout Goals Be?
Every individual is different, and workout goals will vary depending on desired results, physical condition, and phase of life. A new mom has different fitness needs than a competitive athlete, for example. But regardless of the starting point, a good rule of thumb for goal-setting is to aim just outside your comfort zone.
So the new mom may want to simply reintroduce regular movement, maybe walking the baby in a stroller a few times a week, while the athlete may want to shoot for a performance-related goal, like setting a new personal record in speed or endurance. The SMARTY framework can be applied to any goal to make success more likely.
How Can I Stop Snacking?
Awareness of current behaviors and tendencies is the first step. When are you most prone to snacking? What kinds of circumstances make snacking more likely or less? Once you have a sense for the settings and scenarios that lead you to snack, you can establish a SMARTY goal that encourages a healthy diet plan, reducing reactivity to triggers and allowing for a more thoughtful response.
What’s The Best Workout For A Healthy Lifestyle?
In short, the best workout is one you will actually do. Consistency is key when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. What counts is what you do regularly, not what you do once in a while. So strive to find exercise you enjoy. For some, it may be gardening or walking in the neighborhood while listening to a podcast.
For others, high-intensity exercise like running or CrossFit might be the go-to, because it doesn’t feel like a workout without breaking a sweat. You can swim, bike, climb mountains or do tai-chi. You can even dance in your pajamas in your living room. The exercise you do consistently is the best for you.
Conclusion: Get SMARTY About Your Goals
SMARTY goals don’t just work for fitness. Any personal or professional goal can fit within the SMARTY framework. Its six components offer six opportunities for further refining your approach.
Can you make it more specific? Maybe alter your measurement metrics? Is the goal really meaningful and relevant? Does it need to be amended to be more attainable?
Regardless of what you hope to achieve, supporting your success with a SMARTY approach makes the journey more fruitful and fun.