May 15, 2018

Have you decided that it's time to change something, but you do not know what to do? Or have you already set so many goals that you don't know where to begin?
It's time for a new way of thinking.

Regardless the size of your goal, whether you want to lose 5 or 50 pounds, run one mile or complete your first marathon, SMART goals can set the foundation for change.

Follow these instructions to set SMART goals, and you'll be surprised what you can achieve:

1. Specific: Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. A general goal, "be healthier ", is too broad, there are many ways to be healthy. How will you achieve it? Lose weight, start exercising, quit smoking, eat more home cook meals? Break it up and it becomes easier to manage.
Let's choose weight loss and create a SMART goal together. For example, "I will lose weight."

2. Measurable: The goal of losing weight is not enough. How will you track your progress and how will you know when you have reached your goal? To measure your goal, you need to add a number such as 5 pounds, 3 inches, or 7% body fat.

3. Attainable: Before you can add a number, you need to know how high you want to go. It's good to "shoot for the stars", but do not be too extreme. In the same way, a simple goal is not very motivating. Only you know your limits.
Take our goal. What number is feasible for you? Research suggests that 5-10% weight loss can be achieved for most people.
One measurable and achievable goal could be: "I will lose 10 pounds."

4. Relevant: Set goals that are important to you at the moment. Do not set a goal base on what other people want you to do, it's not very motivating.
Look at the goal we have so far. Does that seem relevant to you? If so, let's move on. If you are not worried about losing weight, or if it's not a good time in your life to focus on, choose something else that motivates you.

5. Time: Add an endpoint to your goal. If you know you have a deadline, it motivates you to start. Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your time accordingly.
For our example, we can use 3 months. "I will lose 10 pounds in 3 months".

Now we have a SMART goal! Using this as your main goal, it's a good idea to define some action-oriented SMART goals that are short-term that will help you accomplish your main goal. Here are some examples:
• I will walk for 30 minutes 5 days a week.
• I will drink water everyday instead of soft drinks this week.
• I bring my lunch to work instead of going out at least 4 days a week.
Become a better version of youself by being SMART!