How can you take your goal and make it smarter? The SMART goal acronym will help you fine tune your healthy habit goals. The more you can lay out the specifics and get clarity on exactly what you want to achieve, the more likely you will see success.
Let’s say your goal is to eat a healthier diet. Too many people stop here and think that it will just happen. It is important to take your goal to the next level by mapping out the details like where you will be when this goal happens, what you will do, who you are with and how you are going to really get it done.
By thinking things through a bit more, you perhaps realize that you could be eating a healthier diet by eating vegetables on a regular basis. Don’t stop here though…think even more detailed about the exact plan on how you are going to incorporate vegetables daily.
This is where the SMART goal acronym can help you set yourself up for success:
Specific: What do I want to accomplish and why do I want this? What does this goal require me to do and what are some challenges that I may face in making this goal? Visualize where you will be, what day of the week, and what it will look like to take this action and what it will bring to you.
Measurable: How will I measure my success? How will I know if I achieved my goal? A goal may be measured by the scale, whether you did or did not do the action, or give yourself a percentage of success for the week for example.
Attainable: Is this something that I can really change? Is it possible for me to accomplish this? What do I need to do to make it more attainable, if needed?
Relevant: Is this a good time to take on this goal in my life? Why do I want this? Do I have the resources that it takes to accomplish this? Sometimes this R is also the word “realistic”. Is your goal a realistic one for you to take on?
Time-Based: How long is it going to honestly take for me to get to this goal? When am I going to work on this goal this week? When is my starting and ending date for my goal? How much time am I going to commit each time I work on this goal?
By the time you are through, your goal goes from saying “I’m going to eat a healthier diet” to “I will eat at least one vegetable at my regular lunch and dinner time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. I will eat tomatoes, carrots, and spinach because they are veggies I like and can easily go into a salad”.
Plan what you need from the store, visualize what veggies you will eat on those days and how you will prepare them. Start with where you have had success before and make it simple.
As you write your SMART goal, be sure to use positive language and start with “I will…”. Instead of saying “I will not eat fast food for lunch” or “I will not sit on the couch all day”, try “I will choose a healthy meal at lunch each day” or “I will get up and move for at least 10 minutes today”.
Start small and think “what do I know I can accomplish today?” This goes back to A, for attainable. Think small steps that you know you can achieve and build to the place where you want to be over time. If your goal is walking consistently 5-6 days a week, maybe your first goal is to pull out your walking shoes and put them at the door today. Maybe the next day your goal is to get your walking clothes on and get out the door for 5 minutes. If you end up doing more, then you met your goal 100% and everything else is beyond achieving your goal. How good will that feel?
Revisit your goals frequently. Evaluate your rate of success for each goal and be kind to yourself. If something didn’t work out, brainstorm as to what could set you up for better success with the goal in the next week.
Want even more success out of your goals? Think about these:
1.Let others know what you plan to do. Not only do you hear what you are committing to when you say it to others, but now you have some accountability to follow through and do what you say you were going to do.
2. Attach a non-food reward to your goal and track progress on a chart. Not only will you see the small steps you are achieving through the chart but go and reward yourself once you accomplish the goal. Maybe you spend some time doing something you love or buying something that you have wanted.
Sign up for personalized Weight Loss and Wellness Coaching with our Health Coaches at www.bluebirdweightloss.com. Isn’t it time to look and feel your best?