girl smiling drinking tea

3 tips to reach your health goals: S.A.T.

Let’s jump straight into the question everyone wants to know the answer to: How do we achieve our health goals?

Way back in 1981, George Doran had a paper published – There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives – and since then, the S.M.A.R.T. technique has been frequently used in planning goals. What’s S.M.A.R.T.? Perhaps you’ve heard of it. There are many variations of this acronym.

Let’s make this even simpler. Let’s do S.A.T.

Specific

Be clear in what you want. “I will be healthy” is not specific enough. “I will start following 10min Youtube Exercises at 10pm today” is much better.

Check out these interesting 10min workouts – they are tiring but rewarding:

For the Ladies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6t0quh8Ick

For the Men: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1HNv5zA75s

If you are feeling a bit more ambitious, I love this CafeMom 30min cardio workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwXzXpmwFG4. Even if you’re not a mum, trust me – you’ll really sweat it out.

Attainable & Action-focused

“I want to have six-pack abs in 6 days” – that is pretty challenging and to be honest – not attainable if you don’t already have toned abs right now. Even with toned abs, you will need a lot of resistance training, intense conditioning, functional endurance and so on. Even if you have the determination to go through with all the exercises aimed at building abs, your body might not be able to take the sudden rigour in activity.  In other words – this is not an attainable goal in the short run. You wouldn’t want a broken bone or to tear a muscle somewhere; they take ages to recover. Here are some brief signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard in your exercises: http://www.organicauthority.com/7-ways-to-tell-if-your-exercise-routine-is-too-intense/ For a bit more detail: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/12/28/7-hidden-signs-of-overtraining.aspx

Aim for something more achievable in the short run! Having six-pack abs can be a long-term goal. But if you want it fast, aim for something more achievable and importantly action-focused not just outcome-focused.

Action-focused: “I want to do a 10-min workout three times this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday”

Outcome-focused: “I want to be healthier this week!” /  “I want to exercise more this week!” / “I want to have six-pack abs this week!”

Action-focused health goals are great because they make goals more scalable and actually help to achieve outcomes. So if there’s an outcome you want, make action-focused goals to help you achieve that outcome.

Merely setting outcome-focused ones are too vague and almost always comes across as unattainable. If you want to make them, you STILL have to make smaller goals to achieve them, right? My advice: make the action-focused ones.

Timebound

You need to set a specific time to do it. DAY, TIME, HOW LONG. Someone who sets a goal to run on Wednesday, 7pm, for 20min will more likely achieve this goal than someone who sets the goal to run “this week”.

Remember: Day, Time, How Long.

“I will start following 10min Youtube Exercises at 10pm today.” This is really my goal for today.

Specific: Youtube Exercise

Attainable: Yup 10min today is short and feasible – squeezing in time before heading to sleep!

Timebound: 10min. Today. At 10pm.

What’s your S.A.T. health goal today?