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Tasty Tuesday by Anna Grindeland, RD, CD: SMART goals

Anna Grindeland, RD, CD

The first step in making a healthy change is having a goal. But not all goals are created equal. Here is what makes a SMART goal:

SMART goals are….

Specific. Sticking with only 1 or 2 long-term goals, be specific. Imagine what your life would be like if you achieved that goal, and allow yourself to explore why you want to achieve this thing.
"I want to run the entire 2018 Thanksgiving half marathon…. I have always wanted to run a race and this would be an accomplishment I could be very proud of. Running is a skill I can continue to build on in the future."

Measureable. Make your goal and your progress measureable. How many steps you take per day, miles you run, or time spent on the treadmill. Keep a notebook or use a mobile app that automatically records the stats for you. If you find it difficult to record, have an accountability partner.
"I will track my running progress using a running app, increasing distance every 2 weeks"

Achievable. Is your goal something you can actual see yourself accomplishing? Is it something you really want, or is someone else telling you to do it? Make sure you set a goal that is not only achievable, but healthy.
"I know my knees won't hold out to running an entire marathon, so I will stick to a half."

Realistic. Be real with yourself: If you think you'll never eat chocolate again, you may want to rethink that goal, especially if you really like chocolate. Your goal should be something you are excited to achieve, not a daunting task on the calendar.
"If my knees give me trouble, I will run my best in the shorter races, like a 10 or 5K. I want running to still be fun"

Time bound. Long-term goals—like running a marathon or losing 20 pounds—can only be achieved in increments. Setting smaller, stepwise goals is the key to successful accomplishment of the big ones. Put yourself on a weekly or biweekly step latter—making small, benchmark goals that are achievable in the short term that work towards the final objective.
"By May, I should be able to run 5 miles without stopping."

Goals should be positive. Instead of telling yourself what you won't do, focus on what you will do.

Best of luck on your 2018 goals and aspirations!

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The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.