August! It’s the last month to cram in as much summer fun as possible before school begins! It’s also a great time to reflect on your health and determine what you would like to accomplish in the Fall. I encourage you to take time this month to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for your health. Even better, sit down with your kids, significant other, or best friend and make these plans together. You can help, support, and encourage each other along the way!
(Please keep in mind that SMART goals cannot be set until you truly know why you are setting them. If you don’t know your “why”, you are unlikely to succeed. Please refer to previous blog(s) on my website for more help on your why.)
Specific—don’t be general with statements like, “I want to eat better, lose weight, and exercise more.” Better statements would be: “I plan to cut out refined sugars throughout the week and have one sugary treat on Saturday and Sunday; I plan to fit into my size 8 ‘small jeans’; I plan to do strength training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7 am, and do my cardio interval workouts on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 am.” Vague goals = vague results. How will you know what you did or didn’t accomplish?
Measurable—can you track it with numbers? What is your current weight, pant size, blood pressure, etc.? If you have an athletic goal, what is your current pace, speed, distance? How much can you bench, squat, pull? Once you have the current stats, determine how you desire these measurements to change with activity and healthy eating.
Achievable—is it realistic? Is it possible to accomplish? If you don’t pick a goal that is mentally achievable and attainable, you will be extremely tempted to give up. However, if you see the victory ahead, you are more likely to push through. You will feel amazing when you accomplish your goal!
Relevant—will it improve your health and bring you joy? I’ve found that some people set goals that are specific, measurable, and achievable. However, these goals might be in an area that doesn’t pertain to them. For example, someone who is not interested in sports, works in an office, is a home-body, and enjoys quilting would be better off setting goals that will help them be more productive at work, home, and for quilting rather than goals that will improve their running speed and athletic performance. Stick with goals that are appropriate to your lifestyle.
Time-bound—when will these goals be completed? This one is easily overlooked or dismissed. Too many times my clients will set goals, but they won’t state a completion date. Because of this, goals get procrastinated or ignored. Write down a completion date and work your tail off to make it happen! If you’ve worked your tail off to not quite complete the goal on time, no big deal. Set a new time-bound goal and keep working towards finishing it. But, DON’T QUIT!!!
If you need help nailing down your S.M.A.R.T health goals, give me a call! I would be happy to meet with you to determine goals that will give you the results you desire.
**Doran, G.T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Management Review, volume 70, Issue 11(AMA FORUM), pp. 35-36.