This is supplemental material for the 03/26/14 Weights and Balances Newsletter article on Breaking Bad…Habits: Winging it! (not having goals!):
Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals
What are smart goals? S is for significant or specific to me. M is for meaningful/ measurable. A is for action/attainable. R is for rewarding and relevant to me. T is for time related/track-able. The mnemonic SMART works is a great tool for setting goals.
Tips for setting goals:
- Write them down. This seems to be obvious, but many do not write down their goals.
- Make a “to do” list to obtain your goals. These are the steps you must do to obtain your goal. Often people forget to do this! They would like to lose 25 lbs but do not write down things they have to do to achieve this goal!
- Each goal should be stated in a positive manner. For example; eat more fruits and vegetables instead of don’t eat chocolate for the rest of my life.
- Be realistic. Goals must be achievable and not unrealistic.
- Set goals that motivate you. (i.e., they are very important to you!) Think about why this is important to you, write it down!
- Make small achievable goals. For example, I want to eat at least one piece of fruit today. I want to walk an extra five minutes today. etc.
- Commit to your goals. Understand that accomplishing all goals are not done overnight. It takes time!
- Be precise. Such as, I want to lose 5 pounds this month instead of I want to lose some weight.
- Reward yourself when you accomplish a goal appropriately. For bigger and more significant goals the bigger the rewards!
- Be flexible. If you find something that changes how you view your goals and you need to change them a bit, do it!
- Set a time frame to achieve. This one can be your best friend if you are realistic or your worst nightmare if you are unrealistic. For example, I want to get in better shape this year vs. I want to lose 50 lbs by April of this year (it is already March!).
- Stick with it! Don’t give up! Give yourself reminders to stay on track! Your community, co-workers, friends and family can be great supports when you need it.
- Track your achievements. Check off your goals as you accomplish them.
- Make your goal public. This does not mean you have to post it on Facebook or have it printed in the evening paper. It might mean finding a person who is interested in your efforts and can help cheer you on as you strive to reach your goals.
Setting goals and writing down steps to achieve those goals is one of the best ways to keep focused on your weight loss journey.