Achieve More by Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Growing up in Phoenix gave me a lot of opportunities to try new sports. I got really good at basketball and football. I even went to NAU on a football scholarship. That’s where I got my degree and really fell in love with training. Now, I’m a fitness professional with 2 gym locations and online clients in 10 states!
Most people probably don’t think sports and finance have much in common but I do. To be successful at either, you must understand your goals and have the discipline to follow through.
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) says, “Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success.” I couldn’t agree more. There’s no big secret to success but you have to know what success looks like and put in the work to achieve it.
Knowing what success looks like may sound easy but it can be tricky to put it into words. I like to use the SMART goal-setting framework to help structure my goals.
Specific: Detailed, vivid, W’s
Measurable: How will you know you’ve achieved it?
Attainable: Doable, possible, and reasonable
Rewarding: Worth striving for, do something special
Timebound: Must have a deadline
One of my mentors shared this goal-setting framework with me when I was young and it’s helped me a ton. Read to the end to see how I got my IFBB pro card by using this framework.
Why Fitness Goals Are So Important
1. SMART goals give you direction.
You can think of goals like the bullseye on a dartboard. Goals give you a place to aim. Once you know where you’re aiming, you can choose the best workout strategy and diet plan.
Lame goal: Lose this holiday weight.
SMART goal: Lose 10 pounds in the next 6 weeks to be bathing suit ready by Memorial Day Weekend.
2. SMART goals allow you to measure success.
Once you set a goal, you can start making progress toward it. Don't forget to take benchmarks when you first start. That will help you progress quickly enough to hit your deadline.
To lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks you need to lose at least 1.3 pounds each week. Understanding those weekly increments will make easier for your to prep meals that make sense for you goals.
3. SMART goals keep you focused.
When you set goals you develop mental boundaries that help you make better decisions and avoid distractions. That might mean going on a hike instead of to the movies or making time to get in an extra workout at home.
4. SMART goals prevent procrastination.
Because SMART goals are time bound and you can measure progress, you feel the pressure to work on them every day. If you don’t complete what you said you were going to do one day, you feel bad about it the next. That’s how much you care.
5. SMART goals provide motivation.
The reward at the end of every goal should make you feel awesome. You’re going to work hard for it but that only makes achieving each goal that much better.
How to Set SMART Fitness Goals
I told you was going to share an example of how I used this framework.
Toward the end of 2015, I was hanging around 10% body fat. I had visible abs and you could tell I worked out but it wasn't like DANG that guy looks like a fitness model or fitness competitor.
About that same time, I decided to become a full-time entrepreneur. 5 Star Fitness was just getting started and I knew that getting my IFBB Pro Card would help me grow my business.
I set a SMART goal to get down to 5% body fat while staying above 215 lbs before May so I that could successfully compete in Pittsburgh
Specific: 5% bodyfat while staying above 215lbs
Measurable: My goal was to lose fat and maintain my bodyweight
Attainable: I was already at 10% and needed to drop 1% each month.
Relevant: This level of fitness would put me in good position to win
Timebound: I had 5 months before the competition in Pittsburgh
Using my SMART goal as an anchor point, I worked backwards to devise a strategic 20-week diet and exercise program. Shifting my mindset toward achieving that goal helped me stay motivated and consistently get in my workouts.
In May, I won my class!