Ever wondered why your new year’s fitness goals either always fall short of completion or do not produce the results planned? Do you find yourself in a rut, even after sticking to it or even worse, experience a total rebound after you have achieved it?
After thousands of hours spent interviewing our clients here at Higher Performance, we have identified the most prevalent problems that cause even the most well-intentioned fitness enthusiast to fall off their resolutions. We have linked this to SMART factors not being met. The SMART model is not a fitness concept but actually a popular mnemonic acronym whose criteria can help guide in the setting of one’s fitness goals and objectives. It comprises of the following factors:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time specific
One example of a neural program would be Jim Wendler’s 5,3,1; where you are working at 80-90% intensity. A In fact, we have managed to narrow our findings down to 3 fundamental reasons in relation to the SMART model:
1) The goals set with the SMART model are not specific enough
2) One or more of the SMART sub categories have been left out
3) Lack of an expert’s opinion on the SMART model
THE S.M.A.R.T MODEL EXPLAINED
Let’s use fat loss as an example of how to effectively use the SMART model, as well as to break down the level of detailing that is required when it comes to setting those goals. The bottom line: the more detail there is, the more clarity you will have in how you can obtain your goal.
Specific: There must be quantifiable results that one can aim towards. That means that simply stating that you want to lose fat is not specific enough. Instead, set a numerical goal to detail how much fat loss is expected during your journey. This will make your target more specific. For example: ‘‘Losing 4% of body fat in the next 8 weeks” versus “Losing some body fat over a period of time”. Even though both are fat loss related, specificity helps you quickly identify what other measures need to be done for optimal and effective fat loss. This is especially true if the scales are not moving in the right direction.
Measurable: Having a metric such as daily weight measurement or weekly measurement of fat percentage before you embark, during and after the entire process is crucial. Just a before and after measurement is not detailed enough. If the scales are not tipping in your favour, it is time to assess if the diet you are on, lack of sleep or current training program suits you at this current moment. This can however only be done if you are consistently and frequently tracking your progress.
Achievable: Being too ambitious is usually worse than being not ambitious enough. In fact, not being able to meet an unrealistic goal can leave a psychological wound that could scare you when setting future health and fitness goals. It is better for the brain to recognise successes than failures so, setting attainable goals that have positive feedback will aid you in sustaining your fat loss journey.
Realistic: Easily one the most important component in the SMART model to think about. The main question to first ask is: What about achieving this goal is so important for you? Is it because there is a certain someone you are trying to impress, or you would like a challenge? Or perhaps, it is to address health or confidence reasons. Ultimately, being realistic is directly correlated with your whys. External factors, once achieved, have the tendency to shift and change beyond our controls. This in turn can directly affect the sense of accomplishment and your drive. If your reason follows an external one(like to impress someone), rather than a more personal, internal one, then it may serve you better to reconsider your reasons
Time specific : A goal, even with the best strategies, will mean nothing if there is not a set time frame. When something has no time limit, the sense of urgency does not exist. So, taking your time to reach a goal is not ideal as the sense of achievement and motivation will be lacking in this scenario. Structuring your goals so that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel can be crucial in your process. So, even if you have 50 kilograms to lose, it is more manageable to give yourself a timeline to lose a portion of it, then allow yourself to reassess and resensitise the body before heading back into it again.
With all the components above, it becomes clear that missing out on one or more of the factors can lead you astray from your goals.
Overall, these components can seem overwhelming to manage, but that is where having expert eyes on your progress can really help.With an optimally planned route from an expert, it ultimately helps to save time, money and any sort of guesswork from your process. In fact, it will also minimise any unnecessary discomfort beyond what is needed for your goal.
In certain instances, a great training program with the right amount of internal stress may actually prove to be too All All components of the SMART model not only must be detailed down but adhered to. Missing out one or more components of it will only detract you from your goals.
All components of the SMART model not only must be detailed down but adhered to. Missing out one or more components will only detract you from your goals.
Reach out to us for a consultation so we can help you chart out an optimal and sustainable route to success in your fitness and health journey.