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Effective Goal Setting Using the SMART Method

Learn to set effective goals using the SMART method. Break down large ideas into manageable steps for long-term success.

Target for setting goals.

When you want to make healthier changes in your life, it helps to set SMART goals.

A SMART goal helps you break things down into bite-sized pieces - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely

Specific – A goal should be focused and direct. “I want to eat better” is a good start, but how will you get there? Will you eat more vegetables, get enough protein, decrease how much soda you drink? Remember to be specific.

Measurable – Often, by phrasing the goal in a way that is measurable, you can make it more specific. “I will eat two cups of vegetables every day”. Seems more doable now, right?

Attainable – You want the goals you set to be in reach. There's nothing wrong with high expectations, but you should be realistic as well.

Relevant – Saying you will also ride your bike three times a week is great, but don’t blur the lines. Be relevant to your overall goal of eating better and don't overwhelm yourself.

Timely – How will you know you have met your goal? When does it switch from “I want to do this” to “I do this”? Set a time frame for re-evaluation! “By the the 15th...”, “by next Tuesday…”, “by Memorial Day, I will…” etc.

Now, our original goal of “I want to eat better” has turned into “By the first weekend in April, I will eat two cups of vegetables every day.”

SMART goals are a great way to take a large idea and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, ultimately leading to greater long term success.

Schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, or Health Coach at one of our LiVe Well Centers. They will support you in creating SMART goals that are important to you.

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