When it comes to goal setting, often they are unrealistic, difficult to achieve, or too vague. Setting “SMART” goals is a great way to help you succeed with your nutrition and lifestyle goals.
“SMART” is an acronym meaning specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Putting S.M.A.R.T into goal setting
1. BE SPECIFIC- What is it you are trying to do? Make it clear and well defined. Simplify your goal so you can to get ACHIEVE it.
Ex; Instead of aiming to eat more vegetables and fruits, aim to fill 2/3 of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and fruits at each meal.
2. MAKE IT MEASURABLE- Set numbers, dates, times so your can measure your success. My measuring your success, you will be able to identify the achievement.
Ex; If you want to be more active, aim to walk 5 days a week for 30 mins. Track your progress with a log. A pedometer is a great tool to help you increase your daily steps.
3.ATTAINABLE- The goal must be something that is possible to achieve. Make sure you have the tools, information and resources you need to reach your goal. If you set a goal that you know may not be realistic in achieving, you will only hurt yourself and feel bad if you don’t accomplish it.
Ex; You’d like to start working out 3 -5 x a week. Be sure to have the time and proper footwear to commit.
4. BE REALISTIC- you should set goals that area realistic to accomplish. Aim for something challenging but not impossible. You can always adjust the goal later if it’s too easy.
Ex; if you want to run a 5 k this year, but you hate to run, then this is not a realistic goal for you.
5. HAVE A TIME FRAME. Have a start and an end date. If not, it will be a longer journey and you may feel like you failed because you will likely put it off. Have a date in mind and plan to celebrate your success.
Ex; If you want to improve your diet, a goal could be to substitute plant-based protein for meat three times a week beginning this Sunday.
Source: MD Anderson Center. University of Texas