Let’s get S.M.A.R.T with goal setting this year. A reliable way to help you achieve your fitness goals is by using the S.M.A.R.T modelThe reason why I like this model is because it is detailed and makes you think about all the things you need to have in place to meet your goal. I have detailed an example scenario and factored in how it would work for this particular person. The character is purely fictional, but some of you will hopefully relate well to her.

Diane is married with 2 children, they also have a pet dog. Diane works full time and has a busy life with not much time to spare. She would love to be able to shed 15 kilos this year and feel slim, toned and strong for their planned trip to Fiji on 30 October 2014. The things that have hindered Diane in the past in relation to weight loss is that she has a sore knee, is tempted by yummy food and she prefers to exercise with someone.

Working with the with the S.M.A.R.T Model lets look at how Diane could be all on the way to looking and feeling great in Fiji: PHOTO

(S) Specific (this encompasses the who, what, why, when, which and where)

Who: Diane

What: Loose weight, tone and strengthen.

Why: She is going to Fiji.

When: By October 2014

Which: She would like to loose weight all over her body and tone up mostly her arms and legs. She wants to feel stronger when walking up hills.

Where: She would like to exercise at home and outside walking with her family and the dog.

(M) Measurable (How will we know when it has been accomplished)

Diane wants to use the scales once a week to check her weight.

She would also like to use the a tape measure to look at weight loss in centimetres.

She would like to feel her clothes loosen each week.

She would like to see visible tone happening in her arms and legs and see a slimmer profile in the mirror.

She would like feel healthier.

She would like to feel like she is less puffed and able to stride up hills with more power and go on longer walks with out feeling tired.

(A) Attainable (Ways of making your goal achievable)

Diane is going to keep a food and exercise diary.

Diane will plan her exercise and nutrition for the week on Sunday.

She will plan to eat a healthy option of her own choice prior to attending morning teas at work.

Diane has decided to seek the advice of a Dietitian in relation to healthy food choices.

Diane will exercise when possible with some one else as this is motivating for her.

She has decided enlist the help of a personal trainer to provide a programme to suit her to use at home.

(R) Realistic (Are your goals realistic for you?)

Diane wants to lose 15kg over the course of the year (this is achievable as weight loss of 0.3-0.5kg per week is weight loss at a rate which is sustainable).

Diane may actually find that given those calculations she may actually achieve her goal by September!

Diane is going to get her knee checked by a Physio so that she can jog or run if the mood takes her without pain.

She realises that she leads a busy life but because this goal is important to her she will plan well to make sure she exercises often and eats properly.

(T) Timely and Tangible (Knowing when you want to achieve this by and how would it feel when you have achieved it).

Diane had a date she was working to.

Diane has a picture of what she would like to look like in Fiji in October 2014 and has shared it with us below.

Diane shares below how she will feel once she achieves her goal:

She visualises standing on the beach in Fiji smelling the sea air and tropical fruits. Tasting the salt in the air and the sweetness from the coconut milk cocktail she is drinking. She will feel the warmth of the sun on her newly toned, slim and strong body.

This a very comprehensive look at how you would be able to make a long term weight loss and fitness goals become a reality. The trick really is to view past experiences with weight loss and what it was that stopped you achieving your goals in the past, then putting strategies into place. Knowing what motivates you are key and of course that picture in your mind or on the fridge of how you want to be. Good luck with your New Year resolutions and Happy 2014.

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Lynda Lovatt is a qualified fitness exercise consultant with a special interest in pregnancy, post-natal fitness and promoting fitness for mums of older children. She delivers menopausal fitness classes and personal training sessions in Wellington. See her website for more about Lynda.

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