In January, many of us make a least one resolution tied to our health. For many, it’s a good time to evaluate our physical and mental health, and reflect on the changes we want to make in the coming year. However, making significant, long-lasting change is hard. Habits are easy to fall back into because they provide a sense of comfort.
One effective way to do this is by setting SMART health goals. SMART goals set you up for success by following a proven framework. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By following this proven framework, you can set goals that are clear, achievable, and trackable, which can help increase your chances of success.
Tips for setting SMART health goals:
- Make your goals specific: Be clear and specific about what you want to achieve. Instead of saying, “I want to eat healthier,” try something like “I want to eat at least two servings of fruits and vegetables every day.” This specific goal gives you a clear target to work towards and makes it easier to track your progress.
- Make your goals measurable: Choose goals that you can measure so you can track your progress. For example, “I want to run a 5K in six months” is a measurable goal because you can track your distance and time as you train.
- Make your goals attainable: It’s important to choose goals that are realistic and achievable for you. Don’t set yourself up for failure by choosing a goal that is too ambitious. Start small and work your way up to more challenging goals as you progress.
- Make your goals relevant: Choose goals that align with your values and long-term health goals. If you want to eat healthier, make sure your goals are relevant to that goal.
- Make your goals time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving your goal. This will give you a sense of urgency and help you stay on track.
By following these tips to commit to specific health goals, you prioritize your well-being. One of the biggest reasons we avoid setting health goals is we believe we have to set unrealistic goals. Health goals can be simple, small and achievable, such as 10 minutes of exercise or swap an item in your groceries for a healthier alternative. Remember, setbacks happen, don’t be too hard on yourself. Consistency is key to getting rid of old habits. Celebrate your successes. Be proud of your accomplishments. You got this!