How to Make SMART Goals For A Successful, Healthy Life
We’re almost one month into the new decade, and this might be the moment you take stock of how you’ve kicked it off. How are those resolutions going? Are you still riding that new year high?
Year in, year out, we all find ourselves thinking to the future as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, carrying us through into a new year or, in this year’s case, a new decade. A lot of people avoid actively making New Year’s resolutions to save all the baggage of ‘inevitable’ failure. But it is natural to still think about what version of yourself you would like to be a year from now. Maybe that person is fitter, more confident, more financially secure or can even speak un poco de español as the countdown to 2021 starts up. So what’s stopping you?
Starting the year on the ‘right foot’ is understandably easier said than done, and hard to keep going all year long. Making small, gradual lifestyle changes can feel strange and unstructured, so it’s tempting to try a gigantic lifestyle overhaul that feels like a quick fix, but end up fizzling out within a few weeks as your motivation falls foul of the post-Christmas January blues. The intentions are great, but the process can leave you feeling jaded and tired before you’ve even truly given yourself the right opportunity.
The ‘SMART’ method helps to keep your goals achievable, but in a much more structured way for long-term success. SMART stands for:
- Specific: A focused goal that motivates you. What steps are required to make this happen? Where? When? What is needed? Who will help you?
- Measured: What does the completed version of this goal look like? At what point would you class this goal as successfully achieved? How will you see progress?
- Achievable: A goal that is personally attainable in a healthy, positive fashion.
- Realistic: Is this goal within your reach (even if it is a bit challenging)?
- Timely - bound to a specific, conducive timeline that provides urgency. Is there a target date for this goal, like an event, holiday or new job? Is this target date doable?
Let’s try taking a starter goal and turning it into a SMART goal:
- Goal: “I want to lose weight”
- SMART Goal: “I want to lose two stone by my wedding anniversary on 1st June 2020. To do this, I will walk the dog for 45 minutes every evening and attend two gym classes a week while following a nutrition plan worked out with my Natural Fit trainer. I will weigh myself each Sunday morning before breakfast to make sure I stay on track. I will achieve my goal if I aim to lose 1.5lbs a week.
Try SMART goal setting to turn a wish into an actionable plan, to make success a reality and to give you control over your wellbeing. Any time is a great time to become a more invigorated you. A positive, healthy lifestyle is for your future, not just for New Year.
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