Two-thirds of Americans are over-weight or obese and a good percentage of them want to lose weight. Many will begin weight loss and exercise programs with good intentions but lose their motivation along the way. If you are one of these individuals it’s time for you to set SMART goals and stay inspired. What are SMART goals?
S: Specific M: Measurable A: Achievable R: Realistic T: Time Limited
I typically will have clients choose 3 behavioral SMART goals that they would like to convert into healthier habits. A typical response might be “Well I know I need to drink more water.” A worthy goal that is achievable and realistic, but it is neither specific, measurable or time sensitive. Reshaping this into a SMART goal would read “I will drink 6 cups of water daily, one cup with and between each meal”. Instead of “I will exercise more often”, a SMART goal reads“I will get 60 minutes of exercise, 5 days of the week by walking, biking or swimming. “I will eat more fruit” changes to “I will add a piece of fresh fruit as a midafternoon snack everyday”.
When goals are SMART they can be scaled back or scaled up at the end of the week. The key is to make them specific enough that you can measure success and flexible enough so that you don’t throw in the towel. Remember, change does not happen over night. It takes 4-6 weeks for a positive change to become habit-forming so make sure you are realistic and stay inspired to improve your health.
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness