How to Make and Achieve your Goals with a S.M.A.R.T Approach
Sounds smart, doesn’t it? It is. Here’s the deal, quick fixes and resolutions that have not been planned out well, don’t last. A person without a goal is a ship without a sail. Creating S.M.A.R.T goals can be a helpful way to organize your thoughts, actions and identify how to achieve your goals.
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic and Timely.
SPECIFIC– Narrow it down and focus on one or two goals at a time.
Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomplish? (Your goals needs to be something YOU actually WANT to do)
Where: Determine the location(s) this goal with be accomplished.
When: Pick a consistent, realistic time and a time frame for your goal.
Why: List reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing this goal
Unspecific-“This year I’m going to eat healthy”
Specific- “This week I am going to pack nourishing snacks including a fruit or vegetable for Monday through Thursday because I want to feel satiated and meet my fiber reccomendations”.
MEASURABLE– Find ways to stay on track, make target dates and measure progress.
How many times? Scale of 1-10? Is it a specific amount or personal best performance for strength or endurance? How much?
***I suggest not making goals seven days a week (life happens and you don’t want to become discouraged if you miss a day at the gym or forget your “super healthy” lunch)
How will you monitor measurable goal progress?
Find a group, dietitian or support person to report to, reflect in a journal (mood/energy changes, struggles, successes, etc., track food/activity/water intake,
ACCOUNTABLE– Keep it real and identify the goals most important to you.
Can you realistically see yourself completing the goal? What barriers do you currently have? What possible barriers could arise down the road?
Prepare yourself for those bumps in the road and have solutions in place. Be realistic and proactive- plan a system that will keep you motivated and on track.
Ask a friend to meal prep or workout with you and schedule a routine time. This can make a healthy habit more enjoyable and a fun experience.
Join an exercise group that encourages you to attend class and achieve goals. CrossFit is what works for me!
Let family know about your goals and ways they can help.
Hire a dietitian for nutrition coaching or join a group who does health focused activities.
REALISTIC– Your goals need to be something you are willing to work for.
They should be important to you and you should believe that you are able to accomplish them. It’s usually best to start with a smaller goal and break it into steps.
Example: “I want to start cooking at home every night” instead try “I want to plan out two weeknight meals and be able to have flexibility throughout the week”.
Develop a specific time frame for your goal- today, this week, two weeks, this month, this year, etc.
Here are some more examples:
I will meal prep eggs and overnight oats for breakfasts ahead of time, on Saturdays for the next two weeks. This will help me avoid getting something that won’t be as satiating every morning and save my budget!
I will add a vegetable to my lunch by packing a salad or carrot sticks, three days a week for the next month. This way I can replace less nutrient dense snacks and incorporate vegetables I actually enjoy.
This month, I will walk one mile, Monday, Wednesday and Friday before work. This will allow me to prioritize physical activity and start my day off on a positive note.
I will complete my gym’s 60-day challenge of attending two group classes a week. I’ll stay motivated by checking in with my friends in the class.
This week, I will write down a positive thought before leaving work in my planner to practice gratitude. It will improve my mood before my drive home and will inspire me the next day. Check out my wellness mantras for tips on positive thinking.
You CAN achieve your goals! Be confident, you got this!
Pursuing and maintaining goals naturally provides you with confidence! If setting goals is causing more negative feelings, like stress, anxiety, or self-doubt, you may want to take another look at your goals. You may need to evaluate the barriers to your goals and find new strategies to overcome them. Or, it may be necessary to adjust the goal.