Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Every day brings the opportunity to make changes and improve your health. Now is a great as time as any to set goals for yourself, but be SMART about them.
Specific-- The goal should be precise. Saying "I want to get healthy" is fairly broad and too over-encompassing in order for it to be a good goal. Instead choose words like "increasing exercise," "stress less," "eat more fruits and vegetables," or "choose whole grains."
Measurable-- If your goal is to eat more fruits and veggies, how much per day? If you plan on exercising more, how often? If you hope to stress less, how will you achieve that goal? Perhaps taking 15 minutes a day for quiet time, reflection and meditation would be your avenue for success. Whatever your goal is, have a way to measure it.
Attainable-- When this aspect of a goal is skewed, it can leave you feeling defeated, even if you've made major progress. Prevent that dismal feeling by setting an attainable goal. If you're just getting into the healthy eating lifestyle, setting a goal of eating 5 fruits & veggies a day right away is not going to be realistic for you, Start by increasing to 1 of each a day, then increase once you feel comfortable with that. You don't want to out-do yourself right away.
Realistic-- I don't think that there could be a more discouraging feeling than not reaching your goals. When the goal is set to high and you don't reach it, you feel lousy about yourself, right? Let's be realistic, are you really going to give up sweets entirely? No, and I don't think you should either. Make a realistic goal like having a dessert or candy 2-3 times per week. If you know that you can go for a little less, by all means, do it! If you're working on reaching a healthy weight, a realistic goal would be 1-2 lb loss per week. I know it doesn't seem like much, but your patience and taking the long road will pay off when the weight stays off.
Time Sensitive-- Set a time goal. Putting things in your goal like "for the month of January, February..." or "a day" or "per week" help to put a time on it. At what point will your goal be accomplished? I like breaking a big goal up into smaller more accomplishable goals. For example, every two weeks my goal is due in time for me to add on the next layer.