Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic
If you have been following my column over the past three years you seen me talk about setting SMART goals. This is the model that I have been personally using for years and one that I encourage my clients to use. If you are new or want a reminder, SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound”. Here is a further breakdown:
Specific – Your goal should clearly state what it is that you want to accomplish. Think who, what, where, which, and why.
Measurable – Your goal should be broken down into measurable elements, so that you can track your progress, or lack thereof. Ask yourself, how are you going to determine whether or not you have met your goal?
Attainable – Your goal should be realistic. In other words, you goal should be something well within your ability to achieve.
Relevant – Your goal should align with your own values and beliefs. Simply put, your goal should be relevant to you.
Time-Bound – Your goal should have a deadline. Giving your goal a deadline will create a sense of urgency for what you are working toward.
When I speak with clients about their goals, one I often hear is "I want to lose weight". This is a good starting point, but it is not a SMART goal. To make this a SMART goal, we have to dig a bit deeper. First, set a specific amount of weight you want to lose, but make sure the number is realistic. For instance, the average person can safely and healthily lose between two to five pounds a week, and that’s with a structured nutrition and training programme.
Therefore, depending on your current situation, you may set a target of one to two pounds a week. If you set to lose one pound a week, your goal would be to lose 12 pounds within three months. That is a realistic, non-aggressive goal that can be achieved with small changes to your lifestyle. “Where do I begin?”, you ask? First, you set a baseline measurement by weighing yourself, so you know exactly where you started. Once that’s done, your general goal of "I want to lose weight" has been transformed into a SMART goal of "Over the next three months I want to lose 12 pounds."
The Action Plan
Now that we have our SMART goals set. The next step is to write out our action plan. This may sound intimidating, but simply ask yourself how are you going to achieve the goals you just set. What are the steps you will take and the things you will do every day that will ultimately lead to your success? Using the above example, my action plan could be to reduce eating fast food to twice a week instead of five times per week, to start to walking 20 minutes a day, and check my body weight weekly to see if I’m on track.
That’s how simple this process is. But what I find gives this an additional boost is if you write it down. So many people don’t take the time to write their goals and action plan down, so I am going to help you out. Take a sheet of paper and a pen and write down one goal in each of the followng areas:
• Healthy behaviour – What is a healthy behaviour you want to start or an unhealthy one that you want to stop.
• Diet and nutrition – What is one area you want to improve in this area?
• Physical activity – What is a physical activity goal you would like to achieve this year?
This list will help you during the year, so keep it close.
• You can contact Ethan Quant at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram at @ethanquant.