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Being S.M.A.R.T.E.R!

Being S.M.A.R.T.E.R 
about the way I approached 
my weight loss & health

by @quinlivan

It has been 35 weeks since I re-joined Weight Watchers and my life has flip turned upside down. I am healthier, happier and more confident in every part of my life. I got my 75lbs weight loss cert in class last week and have added an 11th Silver 7 to my Weight Watchers collection.

I have a lot of work done, but I still have a lot of work left to do. I am still 28lbs off my Weight Watchers goal weight. How do I plan on working towards that? Using my SMARTER goals. As The Skinny Doll is covering in her excellent challenge that is on-going at the moment, we know what SMARTER stands for and I have found using the approach since January has helped me keep track & be realistic about my fitness levels and goals. As you may know from my February post, I made a decision back in December that over the Christmas period I would be active every single day over the holidays even if it meant a 20 minute walk, I had planned on doing something every day I had off work as I had no excuse not to.

In January, I signed up to a local ‘Zero to 5K’ group being run by Amphibian King in Oranmore and I started running. I started using a tracking app on my phone to monitor and account for any walks/jogs I had done and by the end of January I had clocked up 90.46KM. This was my base line – the amount I had moved in the month. I took this and used it to set my goal for February (see here)

“Now I know what I can in a month. 9-0-4-6… And with that, my goal for February is to beat that number!”

I set my first SMART goal at the beginning of February:

Specific - Clock more than 90.4km in the month

Measurable - Using the Nike Running App, I can record distance covered & time

Attainable - Yes – run/walk more than the previous month

RealisticI believe so

Time Sensitive - 28 days

February came and went – I even signed up for my first 10K at the beginning of March which helped keep me focus during the month. As February came to a close, I found I had increased my distance by 38%. Yes it was a lot of dark evening jogs in the rain with a LOT of huffing, sweating and wit bright red face – but I didn’t care. My friend said to me that regardless of how slow/little I was covering each time I went out, I was still lapping everyone on the couch. Those words have stuck with me since. 

I planned to make my March goal SMARTER than February’s by adding Evaluation & Reward. My March aim was to clock up 100km by only tracking running activities, with an Easter Egg as my reward (convienently Easter Sunday was March 31st). 
The full post is here!

- but to sum it up, my March goal was:

Specific - RUN 100km this month

Measurable - Using the Nike Running App for runs ONLY

Attainable - Of course it is :)

Realistic - Considering I am running between 5k & 10k - It is

Time Sensitive - 31 days (March)

Evaluation - Aim for 25k / week (at my pace = 2 hrs 30 mins commitment a week)

Reward - A big f*ck off Easter Egg on March 31st :)

On March 2nd, I ran my first 10K in 61 minutes – I was over the moon. To keep myself focused, I signed myself up for another 10K at the end of March (4 weeks away). Looking back, this was the best thing I could have done for myself as it kept me going. I finished my second 10K in 54 minutes 30 seconds. I knocked just under 7 minutes off my 10K four weeks previous. See here!

I didn’t hit my March Goal of running 100K in the month but I still had my Easter Egg as a reward. Why? Because I felt I worked hard for it. I ran 91K so 91% is considered an A right? ;)

Coming into April I have signed up for my first Half Marathon at the end of May which gives me over 8 weeks to bring myself from 10K to 21K. Seems like a huge jump but thanks to setting myself SMART goals, I was able to break this down into adding 1K to my runs every week. So 10K in Week 1, 11K Week 2, 12K week three and so on… With this in mind I set myself two goals for April:

Goal 1:
Top March's figures:

Run for longer than 9 hours

Run further than 91K

Obtain a better average pace (5m 55s/km) 

Goal 2:
Run 15K in a single run

Applying my SMARTER goal setting strategy to April, I came up with the following:

Specific - Run further, longer and faster than March (as specified above) with at least one of those runs being 15K

Measurable - Use the Nike Running App

Attainable - Of course it is :)

Realistic - Considering I am running between 5k & 10k - It is!

Time-sensitive - 30 days (April)

Evaluation - Aim for 25k/week (2 hrs 30 mins commitment a week)

Reward - Haven't thought of one yet, but something LUSH! 

The full blog post is available here!

Now, I know what you are thinking… WTF?! I haven’t a notion of running/half marathons/walking. That doesn’t matter. What I wanted to show was how SMART goals worked for me and how each month the goal has adapted to my ability. Don’t start with a fitness goal in mind. Instead take a week/month to work out what you can do – that was my January. At the end of the week/month, look at what you covered – use time (hours spent out walking/gym/running/whatever) or distance as your baseline going in to the next week/month to set your goal.

As Doll has already covered, nothing is straightforward. There may be sabotage or mistakes along the way but it is all a learning process. I still haven’t a clue what I am doing but it’s working for me! I think it is working for me because it’s my own plan – no one elses. I am not working to some personal trainer plan or something I found online. I put the time in to set myself goals which has fed into my own motivation.


  1. I just want to say fair play to you! You are doing so well with the right attitude (like you have) you can achieve anything!

    1. Thank you Aine :) I think having a positive mindset about everything (even bad weeks where I have been up at weigh-in) has helped... We all hear the 'mind over matter' line but I am really starting to believe it

  2. You're doing fantastic! You should be so, so proud of yourself. I'm sure you'll smash all your goals, you're in the right frame of mind & wishing you all the luck for your next targets :)

    1. Thanks so much! I am more shocked at myself than proud as I cant believe how far I've come. Just shows you how far you really can go when you are in the right frame of mind. Onwards and upwards! :)

  3. Well done you :-) fantastic! Just wish I could be so disciplined! I lost 3.5 lbs this week, so pleased. Kate x


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