Can you believe it, we're at that time of year again where we wonder where the past year went and we start looking at new goals for the 12 months ahead.

The question is though, will you stick to the goals you set in 12 months’ time so you can look back feeling happy with yourself and what you've achieved or will you be making excuses for why you didn't hit them?

So how do we avoid this? We set SMART goals that we can not only stick to but that will motivate us to push on even when life gets in the way.

SETTING SMART GOALS

S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.

Let's look at these in a little more detail without sending you to sleep reading a long essay :-)

SPECIFIC: 

Don't just set a goal, set a specific goal with a reason why you want this.

Bad Example - I want to lose weight.

Good Example - I want to lose 2 stone and fit into those trousers I was wearing 2 years ago. I remember feeling more confident then, but I was also healthier and happier.

MEASURABLE:

Next thing to look at is if you can easily measure the goal and your progress towards this.

You'll need to take note of where you are starting from, depending on your goal (current body weight, body composition, a photo for 'before' purposes, 1 rep max lift, current goal performance for example time taken to achieve currently).

QUICK TIP - If no one knows you are working towards a goal they could hinder you. Why not share your goal with an ‘accountability partner’ or on Facebook. This way, not only will they help keep you on track, they will also know not to offer you that extra drink, pie or to skip that training session if they know you are trying to achieve something.

ACHIEVABLE GOALS:

Now let’s take a moment to be realistic here, if you are going to set a goal it needs to be something that is achievable and this might involve some outside help. For example, if you are looking to lose weight. Do you know the best way to achieve this? or would it be best to consult with a nutritionist or personal trainer first?

Looking to improve your 1 rep max lift? Again, do you know the best way to achieve this or would you need to find a coach for this? A coach may be better placed to not only help with the correct programming for this but also offer advice on other areas to improve like nutrition and sleep.

REALISTIC GOALS:

Losing 2 stone in 8 weeks, hitting 100kg snatch in 3 months when you currently snatch 70kg, taking 1 minute off your 1 mile run time in 4 weeks are all unrealistic goals and will leave you feeling frustrated when you don't hit them.

Instead focus on a long-term goal with shorter more achievable short terms goals along the way and remember to reward yourself when you achieve these.

Let’s say you want to lose a set amount of weight over the next 12 months; Why not set a goal of going to the gym 3 times per week or lose X amount of weight by 4, 8, 12 weeks etc. you may want to cut out (or down) on certain bad food choices 1 month at a time or say you won't eat these choices on a week day but on a Saturday you will allow yourself these treats.

If you make your goals too difficult, they could become a chore and you risk not sticking to the goal at all.

TIME BASED:

As mentioned above you need to give yourself a target date to achieve your goals BUT REMEMBER these needs to be realistic! Don't set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic timescales.

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We hope the above is helpful and you are setup for an amazing 2020. Remember to tag us in your fitness goals and progress using the #iconnutrition