As your partners in health, our team here at AIM for Wellbeing is dedicated to supporting you in all of your health endeavors. For many of us, that may include goals such as eating healthy or exercising regularly. But sometimes, it can feel overwhelming to try to tackle these big things, which is where S.M.A.R.T. goals can be useful. S.M.A.R.T. is a framework for goal-setting that helps to design and measure goals so that you can track your progress and feel good about your results! Let’s explore each part of the framework in more detail:
S — Specific
First, the “S” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Specific.” It is best to be as specific as possible with your goal-setting, as it will allow you to focus on what exactly you are trying to accomplish and how. It can be overwhelming to have broad goals like “I will get healthy,” which can lead to a lack of success in achieving your goals. Instead, try setting specific goals like “I will eat vegetables with every meal and limit snacking.” This allows you to focus your energy on what exactly you are looking to accomplish and can help make your goal feel more manageable.
M — Measurable
The “M” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Measurable,” which means that you should try to clearly define what your goals are in a way that allows you to evaluate your progress along the way. For instance, “I will exercise regularly” is a good start for a goal, but it could be improved by saying “I will exercise on Saturday and Sunday, plus at least 3 days during the week.” This goal can be clearly tracked, which promotes self-accountability but also allows you to celebrate your success along the way, leading to positive feelings that can fuel you to continue working at your goals.
A — Attainable
The “A” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Attainable,” which can be underestimated in its importance. It can be tempting to have high goals, but if you set unrealistic expectations, you may feel discouraged if you do not meet them. Instead, try setting challenging yet attainable goals that will allow you to celebrate your own success while working to improve!
R — Relevant
The “R” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Relevant,” which means that your goals should always be directly related to what you are trying to achieve. This may seem self-explanatory, but it is important to consider what exactly you are trying to achieve when setting your goals.
T — Time-Based
Finally, the “T” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Time-Based.” This means that you should try to set goals that can be evaluated within a given period of time, allowing you to track your progress and evaluate your success. For instance, if you are trying to exercise more often, you might say something like “ I will go to the gym at least 3 days per week this month, at least 4 days per week next month, and at least 5 days per week the month after that.” This goal is clearly defined and can be evaluated as the following months progress, which promotes accountability and helps to define success.
When you follow the S.M.A.R.T. model for goal-setting, you will be able to fully commit to your objective, track your progress, and celebrate your successes. If you are looking for assistance with your health goals, consider working with a health coach. You can learn more about working with a health coach at AIM here - or Book a Call today!