I've received some great feedback over the past week since I posted the first three pillars of SMART goals and how they apply to fat loss. Some of you are very much on point with your goals and others are still working to find the Specificity and Measurability aspects and that's so cool to see. Attainability is probably the easiest that we've covered thus far because anything within reason is attainable.

Which leads me to the final two points I'd like you to see when setting body change goals for yourself.

Let's be Realistic...

"You can be anything you want if you just put your mind to it." Everyone has heard this at least one time as a child. It was likely to be followed by talk of astronauts and pilots and fire fighters and doctors. It was only later in life that we lost interest in that or found out we had traits that weren't considered "optimal" for the job. See my prior email regarding height, skill, and Gary's basketball career for just one of the many examples!

Is it realistic for me to pursue a dream of becoming a fighter pilot past the age of 30?

Probably not.

Is it realistic for me to want to be able to do 5 muscle ups by the end of the year?

Now that's more like it!

The key here is not only making this about what you can do, but also (and most important) what you will do.

Can I eat sardines at every meal to increase my Omega-3 levels? Absolutely

Will I? Nope...

Simple as that. If your goals has you doing things you don't like then what do you think is the likelihood that you will?

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It's about time

Actually Realistic and Attainable work hand-in-hand (in hand) with our 5th and final component and that is, it must be Time-bound. I actually just showed you that by setting a time-bound goal for myself. I would consider that one a long term goal because I have many months to accomplish it. I could (and probably would) procrastinate the time away, leaving myself no time to complete it.

Does that mean it's not realistic? No

Does that mean it's not attainable? No

Does that mean it's not realistically attainable in the set amount of time? Indeed it does.

Time can also work against you in the opposite, and probably more common, way that I see and that is to cut yourself short on time to complete a goal due to other concerns like oh let's see... life! So don't set a goal to spend 5 hours volunteering in the next month and then leave on a 28 day cruise either. Not a lot of volunteer opportunities on the cruise ships I've been on.

A goal needs to keep us focused.

To truly be effective goals need to be wrapped in a 1 to 2 month time period with maybe some roll over into 3. Personally I think 6 months is just way too long to keep in the front of your mind, but I'm sure there are exceptions. If a goal seems too much for a 2 month window try breaking it down further.

If we are talking about body change goals, and we are here, these definitely need to be shorter in duration, typically around 8 weeks, because it's long enough but not too long to know if what you're doing is or isn't working. Then you'll want to pivot, tweak, adjust and try something different. Too often we become frustrated after eating one salad that we don't have a six-pack and jump from diet to program and back again like a moth deciding which candle it likes best.

So what does this look like?

Let's take one more example. Let's say that I want to adjust my V-shape. For those of you who aren't familiar with V-shape, I built a calculator that determines your body shape (it's an hourglass for women) as it relates to how attractive you are to those most attracted to your gender.

You can find it here

Ideal for all of the ratios (men and women) is .77. It's science!

I've got two points to focus on, my chest (bigger) and my waist (smaller). So assuming I'm around .95 I will state the following as my goal, "I am reducing my V-shape to .8 by April 30."

Notice my language. Active and affirmative. Sure, I could have also said "I will reduce...", but that's a bit passive for me. By phrasing it as "I am" whenever it comes up in conversation you simply restate your goal. "I am reducing my V-shape to .8 by April 30."

Next, notice the specificity. I say exactly what I am doing. Not just I want to reduce my V-shape, but to what number (measurability).

Is this goal realistically attainable by the time set forth? For me, yes I truly believe it is considering I'm working on two body points. Growing my chest AND losing from my waist.

And there you have it. A SMART goal! I'm really interested to see what your new goals look like now that you have all of the tools to build one for yourself.

You had the tools all along...

You just had to learn them for yourself

- Gary the Good Witch