Are you considering making healthy changes in your life and are you hoping to do so over time incrementally? If so, please take your time reading through the following information helping you to understand how to healthily approach your new goals using the SMART approach. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. These steps give you the tools to develop practical and attainable goals. Here is how to put SMART into action.
Start by asking yourself a few questions: Who?, What?, Where?, When? and Why? Truthfully answer these questions to formulate your Specific health goal. An example of this step is: “ I want to jog in the park every Thursday for twenty minutes to better deal with my stress.”.
Great, once you have your specific goal written out, start asking yourself: How will I do this?, How Many?, How will I know when I have reached half of my goal, three-fourths of my goal or when my goal is fully complete? Write the Measurement out next to your Specific goal. Here is an example of this step: “I will drive to the park every Thursday and track my Thursday jogs on my desktop calendar. I will measure my dedication to this goal by not missing a Thursday and by journaling about my stress management. I will reach my goal when my stress is managed better and I when I feel better.”.
Next, ask yourself what skills, traits, resources, friends, family members, and groups might help you Attain your goal. Ask yourself what groups, places, resources, friends or family members might hinder your goal. Be real here, stay true to your goal and jot down all of the tools, resources, groups and allies you need to enlist to help achieve your goal. You can do this!!! An example of this step is: “ I will ask my friends to not ask me out on Thursdays and to send me motivational emails so that I will not miss my jogs.” “I will not go to the mall on Thursdays or over schedule myself on Thursdays, Thursdays are just for jogs”.
Keeping all things Realistic is paramount to the success of your goal achievement. You know yourself better than anyone else. Do not set yourself up for failure by putting unrealistic expectations on yourself or fool yourself. There is no such thing as an overnight miracle or a goal-in-a pill. This will take time. You can do it. Stay real, be pragmatic, practice self-respect and you will be on your way. An example of this step is choosing to jog for twenty minutes, not an unrealistic amount of time like three hours!
Last, create a Time frame. You need a timeline spelled out before your brain and body will understand the urgency of starting and following through with your goal. You must use dates and real times, “someday” and “sometime” will not cut it! This last step makes your goal real and puts
the fire underneath you. Now is your time to stoke the flame of desire and move towards realizing your goal. Go make it happen! An example of this last step is: “I will begin my Thursday jogs on the first Thursday of January. I will be ready and prepared to start my goal.”.
- Gene Donohue, Top Achievement, 1998