Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

Take the road to SMART goals!

hillsRoadWhat are Your Goals?

 

Everyone has a summer bucket list – go on a picnic, go to the beach, finally hit that new rollercoaster, finish that trashy novel that you’ve been meaning to read. But as summer comes to a close, it’s time to start getting serious about your health, your career, your relationships, and your spirituality. Fall is a great time to sit down and think about what goals you may have. Break them down into S.M.A.R.T. goals and then work on accomplishing them. After all, how will you know you have accomplished your goals if you haven’t identified them?

Now setting goals like this is NOT the same thing as your “honey-do” list. This is not things like get your laundry done or vacuum your house. Those are chores. Goals are your dreams and aspirations. For example, one of my goals is to bring lunch to work 4 out of 5 days a week at a minimum for one month. This will allow me to be healthier by not buying food that is unhealthy for me such as fried foods or foods that come in a package, it will allow me to know that I am purchasing the highest quality food that I can afford and I will be able to buy higher quality food because it will cost less than eating lunch at work every day. In addition, I’ll probably be able to save some money, too!

Let’s get out a piece of paper and do this with me…

What is a S.M.A.R.T Goal?

As you have probably guessed, S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym. It stands for:

Specific – Be as specific as possible about your goal. Envision what it will feel like when you accomplish this goal. Write this down on your piece of paper. For example, in my goal I was specific about how I would eat healthier by avoiding less than optimal choices for my body and save money. I may make that goal even more specific by putting down that I will put an extra $50 dollars a week into my savings account. Think how happy my body and my savings account will be!

Measurable – If your goal is not measurable, how do you know you’ve reached it? Maybe your goal is to exercise 5 out of 7 days a week. You could set your goal of running 30 miles per week. In my goal, it’s measurable and I’ve attained it when I bring my lunch 4 out of 5 days a week.

Attainable – If you are not realistic about your goal, you set yourself up for frustration and failure. When your goals are attainable, you have a sense of accomplishment and it makes it even easier to tackle the next goal. Do stretch yourself. Do NOT over extend yourself.

Relevant – Is this goal relevant to your life? Since I work outside of the home, bringing lunch to work is part of my life. If one of your goals is to run a 5K, then setting a goal of running 5 out of 7 days a week would be relevant to you. Are you overweight or lack energy? Then losing 10 lbs in a month is not only relevant but think about how great you will feel and how much healthier you will be when you accomplish that.

Timely – Set a time frame on your goal so that it does not continue to be out of reach. In this example, my time frame is one month. When I have achieved this goal within one month, I will do something special to reward myself. For example, I may use the money I save to have an overnight camping trip with my family or buy a novel I’ve been wanting to read and put the rest in my savings account. Knowing that my goal has a time frame AND a reward at the end inspires me to work hard toward accomplishing it.

What are some goals that you would like to achieve and how are you going to reach them?

 

 

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