Making SMART Goals

With the New Year beginning, several people make New Year’s resolutions. But only 45% of folks who make a New Year’s resolution actually stick with it after 6 months. The problem…? They don’t make SMART goals.

S = Specific

M = Measureable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Tied to a deadline

Here’s an example: I want to exercise more. OK…good start but it’s too general. Think of the SMART goal. What type of exercise, how often, is it realistic for me (if I never have done it before)? These are all questions that should be answered when you develop your goal.

I’m going to walk 4x every week for 30 minutes every day during lunch break by the park near my work for 2 weeks.

Now that’s a SMART goal! It’s specific enough for you to identify your type of exercise and measureable enough for you to track. It’s attainable and relevant since it is attached to your current schedule and it is tied to a deadline (2 weeks). This is a short term goal that can lead to further long-term SMART goals.

To make your SMART goal a reality, think about all the people and things that can help you achieve your goal, aka your “helpers.” For example, good walking shoes, supportive spouse/coworkers, good weather, exercise journal, etc. can help you achieve this goal.

Next, think about your “hurdles.” What are all the potential reasons you might not be able to complete your goal: bad weather, no support from work, can’t afford running shoes, etc… . These hurdles, interestingly, are sometimes connected with your helpers. But the goal (if you will) is to identify all the reasons you might not be able to achieve the goal.

Lastly, come up with the “detours” for your goal. If you have bad weather, then you can walk at the track at your local gym after work. You are to arrive at solutions for your hurdles. Have a plan in place for everything, so that your goal can become a reality.

The point of a SMART goal is to have a game plan for where you want to go. You can always change or modify your SMART goal, and even add on to it to make it work for you.

I highly encourage folks to write it down where you can review it! Place it on an index card, sticky on you mirror in the morning, or on your refrigerator. Be able to review and make more SMART goals to achieve whatever your New Year’s resolution will be for 2012. I leave you with this though on my desk, that I ponder regularly:

Some people make things happen,
Some watch things happen,
While others wonder what has happened.

My advice – don’t wonder what happened, plan your goals and watch your dream become a reality.

About Sharon M., MS RD

As a registered dietitian and a master gardener, I know the healing power of food. Nothing has given me more satisfaction than growing my own food. I have experience working in the public health field, including school districts. I have worked with pregnant moms, children, diabetics, and bariatric patients. I emphasis a plant-based, whole food diet. Yet, I appreciate the movement of eating sustainably, while hoping folks appreciate the bean as a source of protein. "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld "Feeding is going well if both you and yor child are having a good time." -Ellyn Satter
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One Response to Making SMART Goals

  1. Tom says:

    Great advice Sharon!

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