The word smart has been a part of the dictionary since the creation of a dictionary.
S.M.A.R.T., though, has been around since 1981. That’s when a writer named George Doran created an acronym for effective management.
+ Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
+ Measurable – define an indicator of progress.
+ Assignable – specify who will do it.
+ Realistic – given available resources, be realistic in what you can achieve.
+ Time-related – have an actual deadline.
As acronyms go, this one is pretty adaptable and the hyper-focused fitness industry long ago adopted S.M.A.R.T. goals as part of fitness routines. The fitness industry did make a couple of tweaks. A for assignable doesn’t really work. It’s your body. You have to do it. Instead of Assignable, in fitness the A becomes Attainable. And instead of Realistic for R, that’s kind of covered by
Attainable, R instead becomes Relevant.
Everyone’s fitness journey is different. Many want to lose unwanted pounds and learn how to keep it off. Some want to build muscle to look more attractive. And others really throw themselves
into things such as CrossFit to push their limitations.
No matter what your goals, being S.M.A.R.T. about them will make them achievable. WebMD.com gives perfect examples of how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals:
+ Specific. Instead of setting a goal to exercise more, identify how many calories you’ll burn or how many reps you’ll put in.
+ Measurable. Use a device that tracks the calories you burn or create a log to track your reps.
+ Attainable. If you hit your goal of 100 sit-ups a day last week, 110 day this week is attainable. Small, steady progress.
+ Relevant. This is the “why” of fitness. Are you trying to lose weight because you’d like to take your shirt off and swim with your kids? Or is it a more serious pursuit such as trying to make sure you live long enough to see your grandkids? Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet so you can take it out and look at it when your enthusiasm fades.
+ Time-related. Be strict about a deadline because that creates urgency. Set small deadlines along the way leading to a big accomplishment.
And then start all over. The fitness journey never ends.
Cheers to a healthier you in 2018!