Goals are desired results on the journey toward better health. But not all goals are created equal. Setting the right kind of goals can put you on the path to success. Goals that are too vague will be hard to accomplish. Goals that are too big will feel overwhelming. To make your goals more effective and achievable, make them SMART.
SMART goals are unique and effective because the process of creating them is much more thoughtful and focused. They have five distinct parts, one for each letter in the acronym SMART.
Let’s look at an example of a goal that passes the SMART test. Say you want to introduce more movement and stretching into your daily routine. An appropriate SMART goal could be:
For the next month, I will add movement to my day and increase my flexibility by doing 10 minutes of stretching before I go to bed every night and track it in my movement journal.
This goal is specific. It defines exactly what you hope to accomplish, the timeframe to complete it, and how it uniquely relates to you and your goal of introducing more movement and flexibility into your daily routine.
This goal is measurable. It’s measured in minutes. Use a journal or notebook to keep track of the time you stretch each day, and you’ll be able to see whether you are achieving your goal or not. Learn more about how tracking can help you achieve your health goals.
This goal is achievable. Stretching for 10 minutes is something you can actively work toward, compared to an hour every day which may be too long and hard to maintain.
This goal is relevant. It matches what you hope to introduce more of in your life. Remember to think about how the goal fits into your lifestyle or how it relates to any other goals you’d like to reach, too.
This goal is time-bound. It has a defined beginning and end date. The timeframe of one month is reasonable and realistic compared to a year or indefinitely.
SMART goals are personalized to you and your lifestyle, making them more achievable. They don’t need to be life-changing. They can be small, so long as they're meaningful. Ready to give SMART goals a try? A MOBE Guide can help you create goals that make sense for your unique situation. Your Guide can also help you maintain the mindset and motivation to make your goals a reality. Get started today.