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  • Setting SMART Resolutions

    By Travis Steffen on Thursday, December 30, 2010in Help & Motivation  

    It’s that time of year again folks! It’s the time of year when people aren’t afraid to dream big. When they set major goals for the year and SWEAR they’re going to attain them this time. What time of year is that you ask?

    New Year’s Resolution time!

    It’s unfortunate, but most people don’t even come close to achieving their resolutions. Year in, year out, they set the same ones. In my opinion, it’s because they don’t set smart goals. When setting goals, no matter what time of year, make sure you set them SMART.

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Timely

    I could go on all day long about how effective this strategy is, or how hundreds of sports psychologists, life coaches, athletes and flat out insanely successful individuals love, endorse, and live by this same rule – but all you really need to know is that you’ll be a million times more likely at actually making your resolutions a reality this year if you put this strategy into action.

    Let’s break each part down:

    Specific – Saying “I want to get in shape” isn’t going to be a productive goal. It’s not specific, so you never know when you’ve truly achieved it. Saying “I want lose weight” is a little more specific, and will lead to solid improvements.

    But we’re not there yet!

    Measurable – Make sure you assign a specific quantity to the goal you’re setting so you’ll know exactly how far you have to go to achieve it. Saying “I want to lose weight” won’t cut it, but “I want to lose 20 lbs” will give you a better idea of how close (or far) you are from achieving your goal.

    Let’s take things up another notch…

    Attainable – When setting goals, you can definitely aim high – but you have to be realistic as to how much you can achieve in a set amount of time. For example, wanting to lose 100 lbs is a great long-term goal, but wanting to lose 100 lbs this month isn’t exactly attainable (that is, if you want to remain among the living). If you want to lose weight, shoot for 1-2 lbs per week tops. If you want to build muscle mass, shoot for 1 lb per week if you don’t want to add body fat along with that muscle.

    Our goal is coming along, but we’ve still got a little more work to do!

    Relevant – Jack Canfield, the gazillionaire author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series once said that the best way to reach a long-term goal is to break it up into tons of smaller short-term goals. Then you can follow each step in succession, and before you know it, you’re there! Here’s the catch: you have to make sure the steps you’re taking are actually relevant to your long-term goal. If you have others, great! Just be sure your focus doesn’t stray too far from the task at hand.

    And the icing on the cake…

    Timely – Always always ALWAYS give yourself a deadline for your goals. This helps you hold yourself accountable, and drives you to make the regular, necessary progress you’ve mapped out for yourself via your short term goals. There’s nothing more motivating than a sense of urgency. If you have to, put something on the line. Make a bet with a friend or loved one that you’ll reach your goal. Remember that it’s not about proving something to them, it’s about proving something to yourself.

    So here’s a toast to all you’ve accomplished in 2010, but know that this is only the beginning. We’ve got a lot of great things in store from you in 2011 – that’s for certain. More importaintly though, you’ve got a lot in store for yourself.

    Have fun and be safe this New Year’s, but keep your goals in the back of your mind. You deserve this.

    Now go out and get it.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
    Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!

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