Setting SMART Goals

Goals are incredibly important: if you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll likely never get there. The best way to set goals is to use the SMART construct:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

An example of a nonspecific goal would be to “lose weight” or “get in better shape.” You could lose half a pound and technically fulfill both of those statements, but you really wouldn’t be where you wanted. Here’s an example of a specific goal: “I want to lose 30 lbs of fat by February 15th.”

That’s why goals need to be measurable, which is another way of saying quantifiable. You should have a yardstick against which to measure your performance. Instead of “losing weight,” you could say that you want to lose ten pounds. Rather than vaguely referring to getting in shape, you might pick a specific sporting event (such as completing a 5k, marathon, or Spartan Race) or a defined achievement (like benching, squatting, or deadlifting a certain weight).

Putting it in perspective

One of the reasons we often fail to achieve everything we want is because we set goals that aren’t attainable. Our bodies are all unique, so setting a goal that I want to look like Dwayne Johnson might not be something that’s within my reach. If I work my heart out and end up looking like Zac Efron, I’d still consider myself a failure if I had the wrong goals.

Dwayne Johnson zac_efron

Dwayne is 6’5” and Zac is 5’8”; the younger actor looks incredible, but when he’s standing next to the Rock he seems more like Mighty Mouse than someone who is in peak shape. None of us would laugh at Zac’s conditioning, but he might consider himself a failure if he’s focused on the wrong target. He’s shredded, but he’ll never be as massive as The Rock.

Zac and Dwayne next to each other

Your goals should be relevant to what’s important to you. Let’s say I’ve created a picture in my mind of being muscular and absolutely ripped: that’s the overall objective, and that’s what I’m driving towards. Setting a goal to run a marathon by a specific date might not get me to the image of success I’ve painted in my mind, even if I accomplish my goal. The human body adapts to distance running differently than it changes in response to other types of exercise. If my definition of success is looking like the first picture (that of a sprinter), but all of my efforts build towards the second (that of a marathon runner), I’ve created goals that aren’t relevant to me achieving the success I really want.

Sprinter  Marathon runner

Finally, make your goal time-bound. Give yourself enough time to make it happen, but put some pressure on yourself. Think of it this way: I could have specific goals that are well-defined and measurable; they’re attainable and very relevant to my definition of success. If I say that I’ll accomplish all of that someday, however, I’ll never hit the mark. I need to be pushed to get my goal done by a deadline, giving me a sense of urgency that I’ve got to keep pressing every day or I won’t make it there.

Goals for GoingKeto

With all of that in mind, here are my goals for GoingKeto. These are aggressive goals, and I’m going to have to be on point to make them, but I believe in the diet and my ability to make it.

By February 15th, I want to:


  • Lose 30 pounds of fat
  • Gain 6.5 pounds of muscle
  • Get my body fat down to 10 percent
  • Have a defined six-pack
  • See veins popping on my biceps and forearms


  • Knock out 75 pushups with perfect form in 60 seconds
  • Complete 20 static pullups without dropping
  • Jump rope for 15 minutes without resting


  • Lift weights six days a week consistently
  • Complete the entire 90-day period without cheating


  • Reduce my HbA1c from 5.3 to 5.0
  • Reduce my LDL cholesterol from 170mg/dL to <70 mg/dL
  • Reduce my triglycerides from 244 mg/dL to <70 mg/dL
  • Increase my HDL cholesterol from 40 mg/dL to >60 mg/dL

One final caveat: you should be emotionally bought into your goals because you should have a passion for them. They should mean something to you. Whether you achieve your objectives or not should matter. At the same time, don’t get so caught up in pursuing your goals that you’re crushed if you don’t achieve them. Give it your absolute best: if you fail, then at least you’ll have gotten much further than you would have if you never gave it a shot. Disappointment is ok; beating yourself up isn’t. Sit down, reevaluate, come up with the next set of SMART goals, then go crush it.

I’ve got this, and so do you.


The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.

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