As we ring in the year many of us are setting goals, making plans, and full of motivation. If you haven’t set your goals yet, I’d encourage you to make SMART Goals.
SMART is an acronym for:
- Specific: Well defined, clear, and unambiguous
- Measurable: With specific criteria that measure your progress toward the accomplishment of the goal
- Achievable: Attainable and not impossible to achieve
- Realistic: Within reach, realistic, and relevant to your life purpose
- Timely: With a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date. The purpose is to create urgency.
When creating Specific health related goal focus it’s important to decide who will be involved, what you want to accomplish, where you will work towards it, when you want to reach it, and why it’s important to you.
Measurable goals have criteria for tracking your progress.
- How will you know you’ve reached your goal?
- What is my indicator of progress?
Attainable means you will be able to reach your goal. Your goal should stretch you and take you out of your comfort zone but also attainable.
- Is your goal too hard to accomplish?
Realistically do you have the resources and time to accomplish your goal? Is it an appropriate goal for where you are at in life?
- Is your goal within reach?
- Is your goal relevant to your life?
- Do you have the time and resources to achieve your goal?
Timely goals create urgency. When you have a start and finish date it creates motivation.
- Does your goal have a deadline?
- When do you want to reach your goal?
For example, your goal might be to make regular meals throughout the week with a variety of healthy food options. To step it up a notch and create a SMART goal it might look more like this:
For the first quarter of the year want to make at least 1 home-cooked meal following MyPlate guidelines, 6 days a week, for my family to have healthier bodies.
Here you have stated who and what your goal is. You have given a measurable number of meals and left some realistic wiggle room for those busy days and weeks. You also set a length of time to achieve your goal allowing you to re-evaluate and set a new goal.
Use our Create Better Health SMART Goals Worksheet to set your New Year’s Resolutions!