How often do you think of starting something new or trying something for a day or two, only to see your good intentions quickly fade away?
If you’re like many people, your health and wellness achievements remain unfinished, and many of your goals go unfulfilled.
In fact, very few people even set goals, let alone SMART goals.
When we don’t know exactly what we want and have no clear direction on how to get it, we can set ourselves up for failure.
Evaluate your goals using this SMART goal setting template.
When we set a specific goal, we have a better chance of achieving that goal rather than accomplishing a vague general intention.
Consider asking the main W’s – who, what, when, where, which, and why – to help you achieve these goals. By mapping the details, you can define the moment of success.
A vague plan is like “start eating more fruits and vegetables”. It’s a good start, but a specific plan would be best: “Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”
You need to establish criteria to measure your goal.
If you consider your goal of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, consider asking yourself: What is an appropriate serving of fruits and vegetables?
Here are some recommended measures for a serving of vegetables or fruit:
A portion of vegetables
- 2 cups of leafy vegetables
- 1 raw cup
- 1/2 cup cooked
A portion of fruit
- Tennis ball size for apples, oranges, peaches
- 1 cup of berries and melons
- 1/2 cup canned
- 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice
If your goal is achievable, you are more likely to be successful.
Consider the planning or preparation that goes in the direction of your goal. Again, if you want to add more fruits and vegetables to your daily routine, do you need to shop for more options, find new recipes to try, or schedule food prep portions that you can easily? grab every day?
This is an area to be carefully considered. If you’re creating something that doesn’t challenge you enough, is that goal worth it?
Plus, if you pick a goal that’s too high, you’re definitely setting yourself up for failure. This applies to high weight loss goals. It is unrealistic, for example, to try to lose 50 pounds in just 30 days.
You need to consider goals that are, for the most part, in your total control.
When the weight scale isn’t moving right now, it can often interrupt your perfect efforts. Instead, aim for goals that involve habits that can be changed – habits that support your weight loss efforts.
Some examples? Prepare a lunch to avoid eating out. Start an exercise routine. Go to bed an hour earlier to reduce stress and get rest.
Carefully thought out goals will have a starting point and a stopping point. If you leave your goal open, do you ever really need to accomplish it?
Keep in mind that it is not possible to make all of your changes overnight. By setting a deadline, you are building a timeline of success.
These SMART goals can improve your health journey as you go along.
Angela Fobar has worked as a registered dietitian at Spectrum Health for over a decade, specializing in clinical work, outpatient counseling, community classes and outreach.