Have you ever created a health-related resolution at the beginning of a new year, or any type of goal for that matter, only to find yourself eventually abandoning it? This may be because the goal was not realistic or it may have been non-specific and too large. While deciding you are ready to make a change goal is an important first step to success, utilizing the concept of ‘SMART’ is necessary for creating a lasting resolution.
What is a SMART Goal?
Use this acronym as a guide to create goals and resolutions that will be more likely to stick.
The resolution should be Specific: The idea of creating a specific and focused goal will allow you to pinpoint exact behaviors to improve. For example, consider the nutrition goal “to eat at least 1 vegetable serving each day” rather than “to eat better”.
The resolution should be Measurable: Creating a measurable plan can assist with keeping on track and verifying goal attainment. A measurable goal “to eat at least 1 vegetable serving each day” can be recorded into a calendar planner and tracked each day.
The resolution should be Achievable: It may be unrealistic to set a resolution “to eat 8 vegetable servings each day” if you did not eat any vegetables daily the year prior. Setting unattainable and overwhelming goals creates a barrier to being consistent and staying motivated.
The resolution should be Relevant: Ensure that your resolution topic is meaningful to you and what you want to achieve. Your health-related resolution should motivate you to achieve. Creating a resolution about a topic that you have no interest in, motivation for, or connection to reduces your chances of succeeding.
The resolution should be Time-bound: Think about when you have created goals in the past, both those that were successfully completed as well as those that were not. Consider the optimal length of time to allot yourself to achieve your resolution. Some individuals choose to set year-long resolutions while others best achieve with smaller, incremental goals.
If you desire to create a resolution for this new year, make sure you are giving yourself the chance to successfully meet it. Reach out to your provider for more questions around your health-related goals.