When it comes to exercise, every chiropractor in Ealing will tell you the same thing — regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health. Exercise reduces the risk of chronic disease, helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves the condition of your cardiovascular system, boosts your mental health and much more.
But to really make the most of your time exercising, you should set some goals. Having goals will help you remain motivated, exercise consistently and achieve better results.
The best method for setting and reaching goals is to use a set of “SMART” goals. They are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
In this article, our Ealing chiropractor shares more details on how to create SMART goals that can help you achieve incredible results from your workouts.
How Do SMART Goals Work?
“Lose some weight”, “Get fit” and “Go for longer runs” are common goals amongst people looking to improve their general fitness. We hear them all the time at our chiropractic clinic.
Unfortunately, these types of goals are very difficult to work towards because they are so vague.
What does “lose some weight” actually mean? Does it mean 10 kilograms or 20 kilograms? When will you lose the weight? How will you lose the weight? Will you eat less, exercise more or overhaul your diet completely?
Another problem with vague goals is that they aren’t particularly motivational or inspirational. There is often no “why” attached to the goal and no final outcome that can be reached.
You haven’t defined why you want to lose weight and what “weight loss” will means for you. Because you can’t judge your progress towards reaching your goals effectively, you will never know how much closer you are to your goal.
Additionally, because there is no time frame attached to these goals, there is no imperative to move forward with the goal. You can tell yourself that you will lose weight eventually but never push yourself.
The solution is to use SMART goals. They are highly detailed goals with a clear desired outcome. Here is how to turn your goals into SMART goals:
SMART goals are always very specific about what is going to be achieved. The easiest way to make a goal specific is to attach a “who, what, why, when and where” to it. So, if your goal is to lose weight, you ask yourself:
- Who is involved in this goal?
Achieving the goal might involve a personal trainer, gym staff, nutritionist, chiropractor etc.
- What do I want to do?
Be specific about what you are going to do. For this example, it could be losing 10 kilograms, reaching a certain BMI or fitting into a new pair of jeans.
- Why do I want to achieve this goal?
Including a “why” in your goal is a great motivational tool. The “why” for your weight loss might be to be healthier, live longer, have the energy to play with your children etc.
- When will I achieve this goal?
When do you intend to reach your goal weight? In 2 months? In 3 months? Be specific.
- Where will I be as I achieve this goal?
Your weight goal might require that you go to the park or the gym.
Applying this rule turns a vague goal like “lose some weight” into a specific goal like “lose 10 kilograms by March by exercising daily and following a diet supplied by my nutritionist”.
All SMART goals include criteria that are measurable. This type of criteria makes it easier to keep track of your progress and remain motivated. It is also easier to understand when a measurable goal is achieved and it’s time to set another goal.
If your goal is to lose weight, a measurable criteria might be the total number of kilos you want to lose as a part of the goal. You can then track your progress using scales. If you want to run more, include the total number of kilometres you want to run each week.
There is no point setting a goal if you have no chance of reaching it. Which is why it’s important to make your goals realistic and achievable.
If you currently weigh 120 kilograms, there is no point setting a goal to lose 10 kilograms in two weeks time. It would be physically impossible and very dangerous for your health to even attempt it.
It’s also essential to set goals that you have the resources available to complete. It would be very difficult to achieve a goal of traveling around the world if you don’t own a passport and have an empty bank account.
Use goals that are relevant to your current situation in life. That is, goals that you can complete today, with your current skills, strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your goals are:
- Within reach, given your resources and time
- Something you can commit to
- Realistic and within reach
- Worthwhile and something that will improve your life
Goals should have a time frame attached to them. This should be a deadline, start-finish date or time for a task to be performed.
Updating Your Goals
Here is how our goals look when updated to SMART goals;
“Lose some weight” becomes “Lose 10 kilograms by September 10 of this year by riding my bike daily for 30 minutes and following a specific diet supplied by my doctor.”
“Get fit” becomes “Have 4 x 60 minute gym sessions per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) with my personal trainer.”
“Go for longer runs” becomes “Add 200 metres to the length of my daily runs each week until I am running 10 km a day”.
You will notice that very large goals may require several SMART goals to achieve. Lose some weight could require SMART goals relating to your diet, health issues, workout habits, chiropractic care and sleeping habits.
How Our Chiropractor in Ealing Can Help You Set Goals
If you are struggling to define health goals, talk to our chiropractor at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing. They will help you choose SMART goals that are appropriate for your current fitness levels and any health conditions you are currently dealing with. For more assistance, contact our chiropractic clinic by calling 020 8900 9004.