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SMART Goal Setting for Success

SMART Goal Setting for Success

Jen Jones

Whether you’re planning on running a marathon, writing a novel, or trying to get healthy, focusing on smaller, short-term goals can help you reach the finish line of those bigger goals. Most people have long-term goals. They may be large scale, like losing 60 pounds. They may be smaller scale, like booking a family vacation. The problem with long-term goals, though, is that they are often so far away that it’s hard to know where to start, and the goal’s pay-off seems distant and unreachable. For this reason, they will often remain dreams, with nothing ever coming to fruition.

Short-term goals provide a solution to this problem. When properly formulated, they offer a series of milestones, a step-by-step system that paves a path towards your long-term goal. They give you a clear plan to grasp what may otherwise seem impossible.

Benefits of Short-term Goals
Achievability. This is where short-term and long-term goals differ. Saying to yourself, “I’d like to lose 60 pounds,” is far different from saying, “I’m going to work out for 30 minutes after work today.” People respond positively to achievement, no matter how small, it motivates us. If you set short-term goals that are regularly attainable, you’ll be far more likely to stay motivated over time.

Short-term goals also minimize procrastination. They lay down a clear and defined path to success, allowing you to focus on one thing at a time. This focus will not only help you stay motivated, but it will also help your productivity, and have you achieving your long-term goal quicker. Your actions will have a sense of purpose, and you’ll be less likely to get discouraged.

SMART Goal Setting
In order to set short-term goals, you’ll first need to have a clear and defined long-term goal. First, you need to break the long-term goal down into actionable parts. You’ll then break each of these parts down into your short-term goals, keeping in mind the acronym SMART – your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Let’s take the 60 pound weight loss goal as an example. In the case of weight loss, you might focus on nutrition and fitness. A “SMART” short-term goal for fitness might be to work out for 30 minutes, three times a week. In which time, by the way, you can burn upwards of 1,500 calories when working out at 9Round. A short-term nutrition goal might be to drink eight glasses of water each day and add two additional servings of vegetables to your daily diet. 9Round members have access to recipe ideas, meal planning tools, and more nutritional guidance in the online member portal.  Whatever your goals are, they should be driven by what you think is personally achievable.

Your goals should be written down, and displayed somewhere that can’t be avoided. Any goals that seem overwhelming and unachievable should be changed (although you do want a nice balance between challenging and achievable.)

Track. Analyze. Celebrate.
Taking time out of your week to check and analyze your progress is a great way to retain focus. It offers you the opportunity to pat yourself on the back for your efforts so far, and gives you the chance to change or reset any unrealistic goals. Set aside 30 minutes each week to check-in with yourself and see how you’re doing. This time can also serve to reaffirm your decision to set yourself on this path in the first place.

Whatever form the data takes - an app to log your meals is a great way to track your nutritional info, and 9Round members can use data from their PULSE™ heart rate belt to track their fitness journey - having a quantifiable source of information is an important part of goal tracking, and ultimately, achievement.

Short-term goals are a means to an end, a vehicle to help you achieve greatness. Realizing a long-term goal can feel as likely as winning the lottery when you don’t even buy lottery tickets. Setting short-term goals makes it seem far more achievable. They’re the rungs of the ladder that allow you to climb, step-by-step, to the top. Start achieving your fitness goals today by finding your local 9Round and scheduling a FREE workout. Taking the first step is often the hardest, but with SMART goal setting, you can do it!

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