No matter how big or small your goal, making changes requires planning and SMART goal setting. Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do!
SPECIFIC: The goals must specifically state what is to be accomplished. They must be easily understood and should not be too broad or subject to interpretation.
- A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Eating better? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.
- Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”
MEASURABLE: The goals must be measurable so that there is no doubt about whether you achieved them. Measurable goals also allow you to evaluate your progress. Goals can be measured objectively or subjectively (i.e., how you feel and look), or both. For example, you could measure your percent body fat and body weight, but also monitor how your pants fit.
- A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.
ATTAINABLE: The goals must be attainable—not too difficult or too easy. Easy goals do not motivate, and overly difficult ones may frustrate you and lead to a feeling of failure.
- Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people.
- A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.”
RELEVANT: The goals must be relevant or specific to your particular interests, needs and abilities. For example, when preparing for a 5K walk, running quarter-mile sprints would not be the best approach.
- Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you.
TIME-BOUND: The goals must be time-bound by specific deadlines for completion. Timelines can be both short-term and long-term and should help you stay focused and on track.
- Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”
Now we have a SMART goal! With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:
- I will walk 5 days every week for 30 minutes each.
- I will drink water instead of soda every day this week.
- I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.
Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!
Have you decided that it’s time to make a change but aren’t sure how to get started? Or have you already set more goals for yourself than you care to admit-but keep failing to reach them?
It’s time for a new way of thinking. Click here >> Amanda Sab Wellness << to schedule a free 30 minute consultation. A full 30 minutes dedicated to talking about your goals and thinking in terms of success!! No more diets, gaining the weight back, or feeling unhappy. The best thing you can do for yourself is invest in your health!