Setting new goals is always something that comes naturally at the beginning of each new year. This year, more than ever I believe that health & fitness goals are so important to be included. Most of the time when working with clients, especially females, it’s all about crash dieting, detoxes, fast approaches to lose body fat -- which usually ends after a few weeks or months, and by the end of the year we definitely aren’t even thinking about the goal we had set way back in January!
So this year, instead of the fast fads that produce nothing but short term results - let’s focus on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals!
S- Specific - your goals should be clear and specific, otherwise you might not know where to start or how to stay motivated to achieve them. You should ask yourself questions like these:
What do I want to achieve?
Why is it important to me?
How will I achieve these goals?
Example - instead of “I want to eat healthier,” you set a goal to plan your lunch meals each week as a start to create a healthy balance.
M- Measurable - it is important to set goals that are somehow measurable, again to keep yourself motivated and accountable.
Example - Setting a goal to lose 1% body fat, or improve your 1RM with a specific lift.
A- Achievable- If you have a big goal set, make sure you set smaller goals along the way that are a little more achievable, so you can track your progress with measurement, and keep your motivation high!
Example - if you have a goal of running a marathon, setting smaller goals of 1K, 5K, 10K’s along the way will help you reach your final goal with achievable steps.
R- Relevant- circling back to the “why” of your goals. This step is to make sure your goal is important to you, it’s in alignment with your lifestyle, or you’re willing to make those changes. If this is a goal that affects those around you, also make sure it’s benefiting them as well (family, close friends, coworkers)
Example - if your family is struggling with finances for the time being, it might be beneficial to set goals of planning meals and saving money by eating more meals at home.
T- Time Sensitive- every goal needs a finish line. This gives you the deadline to work towards, stay motivated for, and not leave goals open-ended with the mindset that it’ll happen when it happens.
Example - by 6 months from now I want to have decreased my body fat percentage and be well on my way to planning and cooking all of my own meals.
A lot of us like to plan physical goals around losing body fat, gaining muscle, or maybe even just toning up the muscle you already have. What we do in the gym is important to meet those goals, but even more importantly is how we eat. It is important to make sure as we plan these goals we get enough calories, with a balanced amount of nutrients. While our goals might suggest we decrease our carb intake, or increase our protein intake, there are still guidelines set by the American College of Sports Medicine in regards to making sure our macronutrient split matches our goals and keeps our health a top priority.
Typically as follows, for maintenance of body weight with goals to increase overall health, while maybe toning up or improving your strength or cardiovascular fitness your calories should not be in a deficit, and your macronutrient split would fall in the range as follows:
If your goals are to gain muscle mass, you would start with a 5% increase in calories from your maintenance levels, and split your macronutrients as follows:
If your goal is to lose body fat, you would start with a 500 calorie deficit from your maintenance level to ensure fat loss of one pound per week, which is safe and healthy. Your macronutrient split would typically look like this:
Keep in mind, all bodies are different, and these ranges are suggestions of starting points. It is recommended you find what split and balance works for you, without completely cutting out any macronutrient group, most commonly carbs, as to disturb the balance of our food and nutrients our bodies need to function. Make sure your foods are from whole and health sources such as whole grains, fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, nuts, legumes, etc. Check out www.myplate.gov for more information on healthy food sources, and use this calculator to estimate how many calories you would need in a day - or feel free to reach out to me for any questions you might have!
Note from Team B4H:
As outdoorsman, we know the importance of maximizing time outside of hunting season to prepare ourselves for success during season is one of the best difference-makers there is when it comes to a success. Buckling down and crafting some well planned goals for before your next big hunt can be a great way to give yourself a jump-start on filling a tag. In this article, Built4TheHunt content contributor Jessica lays out a simple, effective strategy for health & fitness goal planning. Take a look! Your next western deer or elk hunt will thank you!
Connect with Jessica for custom training and nutrition insight here: