Every day, we hear advice on changes we need to make to be our healthiest. We know we should increase our vegetable intake and decrease our consumption of added sugars. But how do we go about making these changes and having them last?
Developing a SMART goal is the first step in creating healthy habits. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound. See below for steps on how to create your own SMART goals.
1. Come up with your goal. What is it that you want to accomplish? Be specific about your goal. “Eat healthier” is not specific enough. “Have vegetables at dinner every night” is better.
2. Have your goals be measurable. This allows you to track how you are doing. “Lose 1-2 pounds per week” allows you to see where you are at with your goal at the end of each week.
3. All goals should use action verbs. Saying you want to “be healthier” is not a SMART goal. “Limit dessert to 1 night per week.”
4. Make sure your goals are realistic. Losing 100 pounds is unrealistic. However, losing five pounds a month is much more doable. The more realistic your goals, the more likely you will achieve them.
5. Lastly, your goal should be time bound. Each goal should have a time frame of which you would like to achieve it or how often you would like to do it.
Remember to stay positive about your goal, frequently read over your goal and congratulate yourself along the way. ••
Kirsten Diegel is a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist who works as a clinical dietitian for Wesley Enhanced Living.