It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely – and is a great tool for setting and evaluating any goal.
Here is a breakdown of what it means, and how you can apply it to your weight loss goals…
Any goal is much easier to accomplish if it is specific rather than vague or general. This term asks you to evaluate the what, why, and how of your goal. A truly specific goal will usually address five questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is it important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it happening?
- Which requirements and constraints are necessary?
It is important that you choose a goal that has progress that can be measured. Measuring your progress along the way can help you evaluate how you are doing, what you need to change, and to celebrate your successes.
Be sure that your goal is very specific. “I want to lose weight” is not measurable. “I want to lose 10 pounds by the beginning of the summer” gives you a specific and measurable target. Next, establish when and how you will measure your progress, and be sure that this is concrete.
You must be sure that the weight loss objectives you set are actually within your reach. A goal should stretch you, but it has to be something that you can actually do.
Your weight loss goal must be something that you can truly accomplish with the resources that you have, and one that you are both willing and able to work toward.
Realistic does not mean “easy,” it simply means that your goal is something that you have the skills to do. For example never eating sugar again is not a very realistic goal for most people. However, cutting back on refined sugar is realistic.
In order to successfully achieve a goal, it is important to have a specific time frame in mind. A time limit keeps your goal from being too vague and encourages you to take action now.