Staying Active and Focus With The SMART Plan

staying active and focus with the SMART Plan

New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions have started a couple of centuries ago with the ancient Babylonians with different set of promises, that are completely different from our time. Now, a lot of people are making them and see it as a ”fresh start” for the year that is coming. We set goals and promises to motivate us to feel better (mentally and physically) but it doesn’t last for long…

The most commons ones are eating healthier, exercising more and saving money. It has been proven that more than 80% of persons that started a specific resolution fails before the beginning of March! This is due to what exactly? There’re many causes to that: lack of motivation, going back to their ”comfort zone”, etc… This is all due to a not setting their goals the good way.

A solution to this behavior is to use a method called the SMART Plan. Never heard of it before? Well, let me explain you how you can stay active and focus with the SMART plan for the year coming and so on. Don’t worry it is easier than it sounds. Let’s GO!

S.M.A.R.T. Plan Stands For…

The acronym SMART has some slight variations depending on of which type of goals you want to obtain. Here’s the most common:

S : Specific, Significant

M: Measurable, Meaningful

A: Achievable, Action-Oriented

R: Realist, Relevant, Reasonable, Result-Oriented

T: Tangible, Time-Based, Trackable

If you search the web, you will find more variations that can be more specific to the own goal(s).

Be Specific

If you set a goal, it need to be the most specific as possible. If you tell yourself ”I want to start exercising” or ”I want to get in shape”, these goals are not accurate at all. It is too vague and you will be promised to fail for sure. A real specific example would be ”I will lose 20 pounds” or ”I want to cut down my 5K time by 15 minutes”. You got the point?

Be Able To Measure It

Once you have set a specific goal you also need to measure it. Science tell us that if you don’t, it won’t work. It also a way to truly put cards on the table and see if you are really progressing or not.

For my self if I’m preparing for a half or full marathon, I always use my wearable to follow my progress. Any small progress would lead you to success long term and if it is measurable, it will increase the desire to get better or tweak it if something is wrong.

Another example would be for weight loss: you need a scale to measure where you start and where the going. Believe it or not, maybe person are scare to step on the scale (or by a private trainer) because they are scare to see how tall the mountain is to climb. It is normal to feel scare or ashamed but you need to start NOW and take ACTION. Once you’re able to measure it, you will know what need to be done to move forward.

Make It Achievable

Your goal need to attainable for you to succeed. If you set yourself to run a marathon but have never run any long distance runs it will be hard to achieve it. Settings yourself an achievable goal will also be more fun during the process.

It took me a couple of years before running my two marathons this year. I started small (5K), progressed (10K and 21K) and finally accomplished my goal (42.2K). From day one, I always had pleasure on any run that I did and that’s due to setting myself concrete achievable goals.

Be Realistic Toward Your Goal

You need to be focusing on something that make sense with the goal that want to achieve. Do you have the resources necessary to accomplished the goal? By example, if you wanna start practicing kickboxing, make sure you are financially able to pay for the annual fees. It seems simple but there’s a lot of people that can afford some type of sports and they stop going because of money.

Also, make sure that each goal that you have in mind are attainable and reasonable time-wise. It needs time and dedication to complete a specific goal. Make sure you incorporate the time needed to perform the actions toward the goal in the daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Write it down on the calendar or on a paper that you can look daily, this will help you on the long run.

Defined In Time

Some persons call it time-bound. Just deciding when you want to achieve something can motivate you to keep going. Time also need to be measurable, attainable and realistic. Are you setting yourself realistic deadlines to accomplish the goals and the actions that will lead you to the end goal?

Create Your Own SMART Plan

I hope this would guide to find the own perfect SMART plan. There is not a specific plan since everyone has different goals and will take different actions to achieve them. Same thing goes for the time. Some of you will HAVE to change some of their HABITS to find some space in their schedule. Parents will need to juggle between work and their kids but it is DOABLE.

I have a full time job and a 2-year-old kid and I found a way to practice enough to be able to accomplished my first two marathons in 2018! Once you have accomplished a goal, you feel awesome and proud. Everything you do in the life is for a feeling. Whenever it is good or bad.

So what are you waiting for? Believe in yourself, you will be surprise how far it will bring you. What will be the SMART Plan? Are you ready to set REAL long-term resolutions ? What will they be?

Please add a comment below and I will be sure to engage with you. If you guys have any questions feel free to ask.

I wish you the best holidays ever !

Stay strong and have a good one. Al

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About Alvaro ''Al'' Paez

I am a passionate fitness/wearable enthusiastic person who loves to share to the world, news and reviews about what I call fitness wearables. Ive been using wearables since many years and I found they can be a useful tool to improve your health, increase your fitness level and lose weight. There's a fitness wearable for every person. Let me show you the good path! Alvaro ''Al'' Paez.

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44 Comments on “Staying Active and Focus With The SMART Plan”

  1. What a timely article! Goal setting has always been something I loved doing, but I never knew there was a whole system in place to make those goals turn into reality! I really do agree with the steps here. I think one of the most important parts to setting any goal is being specific with what you want to accomplish and being realistic. Keep up the good work and thanks for this!

    1. Hi Eric! 

      I’m happy that you have learn something valuable with my post. I was in the position has many just recently. Not setting specific goals in a realistic way with a specific time frame. Not only fitness related but in all areas of my life. The system is general but can be narrow down to what you want to accomplish. That’s what I love of the SMART Plan. 

      Thanks for passing by. All the best. Al 

  2. Great information! I need to get right on your Insurance tips, I think I may be overpaying after reading your article. And the section on goal setting! just in time for the new year. I will set measurable goals! Get info on the difference of a Smartwatch V a Activity Tracker, Do you have a favorite? Thanks for the article on 5 things to know when I want to loose weight, Think I’ll get in shape for the new year!

    Thanks

    1. Hi Dennis, 

      Thank you for your warm comment! Don’t worry, you are not the only that is starting setting goals the good way. Like I said, there’s about 80% of the population that makes them but fail quickly. Once they are set and been measured, keep them in mind and writting them somewhere that you will look everyday or so. I’m getting a goals wall calendar to help me since I forgot to look into my phone enough. 

      For your smartwatch/fitness tracker question, I love my TomTom Spark 3 (fitness tracker). As for the smartwatch side, I prefer the Withings Steel HR Sport that is less expensive than the big ones (Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch).

      If you got more questions, please let me know. 

      Al 

  3. Hello,

    Great article on goal setting and how to effectively go about putting ourselves in the best position to accomplishsh them. The SMART plan-method is great and can be specific to the individual, group of people and situations.

    This will definitely be a method I incorporate to accomplish my goals from now on!

    Thanks for bringing the SMART method to goal setting to the forefront!

    Diane

    1. Dwilli! 

      Thank you for your positive comment. I’m happy it can help you for the near future. Setting goals are something that everyone need to do with a strategy in background. That will help you in the long run. Not just for a month or two. Let me know if you need any help finding your perfect SMART plan. Al

  4. I have already made some New Year resolutions. One is to exercise more. Even though you start seriously as the time goes, you fail to continue.

    It is good to start with a specific goal in mind.By doing that at least you could motivate yourself when feeling lazy. It is important to focus on the goal and try to achieve it despite many obstacle that you might face.

    I believe it is important for everyone to make goals regarding their health, fitness by setting goals at the beginning of the year.

    1. Hi Saj! 

      Thank you for your comment. You are right taking the time to manage your time with your goals always in mind is something that will help you mid to long term. I started doing that recently and I already see the benifits! Once you have a concrete plan, anything can be accomplished. 

  5. Creating smart resolutions is one of the smartest ideas I had heard in a long time. I had seen the SMART acronym and implemented it in work scenarios, in the past, and am delighted to see it applied (or suggested that it be applied) to one’s personal life. This isn’t the same as journaling, but it seems to serve the same purpose. It makes the abstract concrete–or, as the paradigm dictates, measurable. This is kind of how I operate with driving directions or lists of things to do or get from the store. Once I render the abstract idea somewhat concrete, by writing it down and making it something I can look at, I really no longer need the list; there’s something about the act of making the abstract a little less so that enables us to focus a little better on our objectives. Thanks very much for a thoughtful post.

    1. Hey Kevin, 

      Thank you so much for your comment. You got that right! Everyone successful has his own SMART plan and live by it every day without questions. Once you implement it on your life with any goals that you are setting, it’s like magic. You won’t derive from your path after. Specific goals that can be measured will make them concrete. This is good for any sphere of your life. Al

  6. I think I saw the “SMART” acronym or at least something very similar, while taking a business course at university. The only problem with it is that some new years resolutions  (usually the complicated or business dependent ones) just aren’t doable in the time frame that you initially believe. Not everything is rewarded in kind for the amount of honestly work put in, unfortunately. Sure, stuff like “learning to swim quickly” or “maintaining this specific diet” is fine, but things like “gain 2000 more subscribers on youtube before the year ends” may work out as realistic and achievable for the person, but that’s because they don’t fully grasp the factors involved in this and as such they are bound to be disappointed.

    1. Hi Caldero,

      It is definitely true when it comes to big goals like the ones that you are talking about. With the SMART plan, consistence is the key on each letter from the Smart Plan. It has being aknowledge by successful people their own way and it works for anyone. You seems to have understand my post for sure! All the best. Al 

  7. A perfect article for all of those embarking on a “new year’s resolution”. Utilising the smart plan or a version thereof will without doubt help. I’m a qualified PT and nutritionist and I have seen it far too often that people embark on something new, be that a diet or fitness plan without having measurable, achievable targets and as such invariably fail. I’ll be utilising this article with some clients in the coming weeks! Thanks again Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin, 

      Good stuff! If this can help you with your clientele, feel free to use it! I tried to show the SMART plan the easiest way possible so it can be used by the most people possible. There’s many versions of the SMART plan but it can become really confusing. I’m sure that your users will learn it fast and find their way to suceed long term. All th best. Al 

  8. Glad that I found your article just in time for my new year planning. 

    I have so many goals in mind and I guess I really have to sit down, focus, and plan them out with the SMART approach that you have shown us. 

    Sometimes I get too excited and ambitious when setting goal, and I ended up feeling defeated when I realise that my goal is too high for me to reach. Your article is a timely reminder that I have got to make it more realistic and time-bound!

    Thank you Alvaro, wish you a great year ahead!

    1. Hi Grace, 

      I am glad that this post gave you some insights on how to proceed to get success on what you want to work on. It’s no magic, just putting all cards on the table and make it happen specifically and in a realistic way. Once you get the twist, it will be a no-brainer. It will be like riding a bike! 🙂 Regards, Al 

  9. Setting yourself goals is important whatever the subject, but I think we all target bigger goals than we should really start with when it comes to fitness.

    We always want to lose more than we can healthily achieve. I like the way you have set out this way of setting out goals.  Definitely need to look into this, especially after Christmas.

    thanks

    1. Hi John, 

      Thank you for the comment. In the fitness world, you need to set your goals properly to be able to achieve them mid to long term. And wearables are there to help you measure your daily progress and gives you tips that will let you improve you fitness level with any type of workouts. You just need to find the good one for you. Using the SMART plan is a template that can be ”tweak” the way you want it depending on the area of your life that you want to get better. All the best! Al  

  10. I agree with you 100%!  The biggest thing for me is setting goals that are actually achievable and then coming up with a plan to achieve those goals.  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  I see that as setting myself up to fail.  I prefer to make ongoing goals through out the year, and with each goal I make, then I make a new one.  I do better this way for sure.

    1. That’s a good way too. You seems to have found a solution that keep you up to date for a long time. That’s what is the most important is that you have them always in mind or written with a specific method that works. Nothing thrown in the air. Thanks for the message 🙂 

  11. Great tips on goal setting. I think my biggest problem is not being specific enough. I think if I can be more specific, my goals should be more attainable. And I believe measuring my goals will help me keep on track. The more I feel I am achieving something, the more motivated to complete my goal. This was a good motivational article, thanks!

  12. Coming from a background in education, I am familiar with SMART goals.  They can be great and attainable, for those who are serious about achieving them!  Your advice here is timely, as summer is ending and winter is on the horizon.  For me, it’s easier to be out and exercising when the weather is nice; not so much in the winter/snow.  Thank you for sharing this well-researched article!  I’m writing down a few health goals as I type this!  Blessings!

    1. Hey there, 

      You are right! The SMART plan is like a template for everything you do in life. Work, exercising etc…I am glad that you liked the post. If you need to start somewhere the SMART plan is a great tool for long sucess on everything. Al

  13. Hi Al,

    First off: I congratulate you completing full marathon having a 2-year-old and a full-time job.

    I am sure you built and followed a successful SMART goal and followed it well.

    We were forced to do the SMART goal every year when I was working incorporate. You are rated based on your performances vs, your goal.

    Thank you for bringing it up. It is that time now. I have not done it for 2 years but it can be a powerful strategy to be your own boss (which is what I am now).

    1. Hi Anusuya, 

      Thank you! The marathon was a nice goal that works your mental state A LOT. Using the SMART plan you can achieve anything you want. You name it! I am glad it has also helped you in the present! . Al

  14. Very nice and entertaining article about staying active and focused by using a smart plan. These tips you gave, may sound simple and basically they should be. But still many of us may not able to follow them. Or starts to try to achieve too much, in a too short a period of time. As a personal trainer, I fully agree the goals need to be achievable and realistic, most of the time its better to set “too easy” goals to achieve than impossible or very hard ones. But from the view of a competitive athlete, I may see things way different way. However, your tips and approach is good and maybe the best way to approach your goals for most of us. However, thanks for a good article, I will check some other articles on your site. 

    1. Hey Jesse! 

      Thank you for the comment man. It is a matter of knowing yourself deeply and being real with yourself. The Plan is there to help you if you really want to do it. It has been praised by many in the past and now. For people who start from scratch it can be a knocker! Al

  15. I must say I’m impressed with this really wonderful post. Most people of which I am included set for ourselves some certain goals and don’t really give priority to achieving these goals. Often we see something we don’t like about ourselves and what we do next is set a goal and we don’t work toward achieving it. 

    i love this post for the fact that it shapes my mind as to how I would set my plans so I can achieve it and not just say things and they just end as mere words. Thanks for this wonderful post. 

    1. Hi Chloe, 

      Thank you for the warm reply. 

      This is no bull!! The S.M.A.R.T. plan is a great way to set your mind and be happy and successful. I am happy to hear that it will help you in the near future. Keep us posted! Al 

  16. Great article! I actually remember seeing S.M.A.R.T in the office in one of our training’s for goals setting. I agree completely, this is a great way to make people more committed to getting, and maintaining, a fitness routine. We all have a tendency to say things we don’t actually commit to doing…especially after the holidays!

    1. Hello Bev! 

      SMART plans are everywhere. They can help you for your business, sport/exercise, mental greatness and much more. It is a matter of putting down to paper and make it happen. I also now add the 5 second thinking that Mel Robbins talks about in their book for deeper motivation and focus. All the best, Al. 

  17. It’s early September now but reading and understanding this post makes me want to do the SMART Plan to live a healthy lifestyle. For my specific goal I would like to cut down 10 kilograms within 3 months by running for at least an hour a day. This is really motivating as I can track my weekly progress by making a record journal. I know that it will also take self discipline to follow up my development to a healthy lifestyle. A definite goal will lead to a definite achievement. Thank you for introducing this friendly method. I would also like to share it with my colleagues during our meeting because I feel that SMART planning can be incorporated in anything that is goal oriented.

    1. Hey MissusB, 

      SMART plans are everywhere but no one really knows that. It is a matter if finding the best way for you to improve, set goals and live happier. No worries, the losing weight comes all in it! It is just a matter of planning and find the best way to improve and succeed. Good stuff to tell your friends about this plan, it worth trying for once at least. Al 

  18. This is a really great motivating review. I have been making a lot of resolutions ans I keep on breaking them by giving myself excuses and making myself understand why I broke it. After months I remember how I was determined and feel bad for not achieving what is supposed of me and it is a really bad feeling. I’m glad I read this post and I now have a better strategy in achieving my goals.

    1. Hi Willy,

      I am glad this post gave you some insights how to be better for setting and reaching your longterm goals. In the next days I will create a e-book document explaining how to use a fitness watch, check your calories in/out and be able to set goals to lose weight. Stay on the loop! Al 

  19. I love your smart plan, it is very similar to the marketing principles that I use for work. However, I love your version better because it benefits my health. I love being specific with my rather than just set my goal. For example, I set my goal that I want to lose 10 pounds, I am usually be more specific with that by trying to lose 2 pounds for 5 weeks. It is manageable and attainable, the best part is it is very specific. Love your SMART plan I will set out my goal soon. Cheers!

    1. If you are someone that need to be focus daily,it is exactly what you need. It is recommended to write down every morning (or free time) to write them on a calendar/agenda. Thank you for the comment! Al 

  20. I’m a big fan of smart goals. I think it’s a great way to make sure your goals are suitable for what you want to achieve but also realistic enough not to get overwhelmed and give after a couple of days. It’s great to use in fitness but as you say it can be used in any area of your life too. Thanks so much for sharing

    1. Hi Mike, 

      Much appreciated! Fitness is something that I take seriously and without a specific plan it can go bad quickly. This plan helped me on many half marathons and two marathon. 

  21. It’s a very good and informative article about the SMART model you have provided. And it’s so important to use it regardless of what kind of activities, sports you are doing, if you planning to quit smoking, loose fat or lifting 200 pounds. Or simply by be a better person. If you planning for success and achieving your goals, or your new year resolution, you have provided the best formula. Thanks.

    1. Hi Fred, 

      The SMART plan is there for all and tweak it depending on what you want to achieve in your life. It can be to run 1K or loose 100 pounds. Its all in us. Let’s just put in in place and make it happen! 

  22. The goal setting and your smart plan outline are right on point I must say and thank you for delivering such a very important topic. Staying active and focus on the SMART plan is indeed a must-have principle for every health and fitness enthusiast out there.

    I am pretty sure this article will benefit not just the readers but also those who read or heard from those who read the share it on their network.

    Just one question if you don’t mind; when it comes to realistic goals and following them, what is the best approach that has worked for you? A lot of folks seem to be struggling with this hence am asking.

    1. Thanks Richard! I appreciated your comment! Let’s hope it can help at least one person. If it is right, I will happy for life lol. Al 

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