S*M*A*R*T Goal setting – Management Fundas applied to fitness Part 1

OK, fine, I confess, I am a business graduate. And to top it off, I have been a consultant pretty much all my working life!

I know, I know! But judge all you want, management consultants do have the best models for everything. And we know how to represent them. And we know how to show off the fact that we know how to represent them.

Let’s take today’s topic for instance. S*M*A*R*T Goal setting.

We can put it vertically.


We can depict it horizontally.

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We can stack ‘em.


We can picto-gram ‘em.


We can even make ‘em into cute buntings.

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We can show you a self-help, motivational chart.

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And I bet you, we can definitely appeal to the nerd in you!


But we can get the message across, dammit!


Just keep this in mind, when setting fitness goals:

Specific: Be very clear about the outcome. Weight, muscle mass, event participation or anything else that may be meaningful to you.

Measurable: Have a number attached to your outcome so that you know how close you are to achieving it.

Achievable: You know the 80-20 rule right? Let me give you an example. It is easier to shave off 15 minutes from your running time when you clock a 2:30 for a half marathon, than to shave off 15 seconds when you clock a 1:30 for the same distance. I kid you not. Make sure you know that what you want is healthy and achievable. Else, your plan to reach your goal will leave you deflated. Literally

Relevant / Rewarding: We consultants disagree with each other from time to time. The full form of this “R” is one of the points of contention. I like to go with Relevant and Rewarding. If you’re going to work for it, it better be relevant, works the other way too. If fitting into a US size 6 will make you feel good – make that your aim.

Time bound: Have a time period to it. It can be a month, it can be a year – make sure it is Achievable. Having a time frame makes you work more systematically. You can work backwards and set your milestones.

By now, hopefully, you should have S*M*A*R*T Goal setting coming out your ears!

But if not, let’s take some examples.

Let’s play a game: S*M*A*R*T OR NOT!

  1. “I want to lose weight”
    S*M*A*R*T Goal: “I want to lose 2 kilos in 1 month.”
  1. “I want to lose 2 kilos in 1 week”
    I mean really, forget the full form – this definitely isn’t smart or healthy! But if you want to get all technical – it isn’t Realistic.
  1. “I want to run the New Delhi Half marathon in 2015 in 2 hours 30 minutes”
    Ooh! You’re seriously S*M*A*R*T!
  1. “I want to complete the Iron Man in 2017”
    You’re seriously motivated! And S*M*A*R*T.
    But it would help to divide that humongous goal into mini steps and milestones to help you track progress.

Look out for Part 2 of this series for details!

All the best!


4 thoughts on “S*M*A*R*T Goal setting – Management Fundas applied to fitness Part 1

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