Do you have SMART health goals?

Do you have

February has arrived! 2018 is officially well on its way. How are you doing? Have you made a start towards achieving your goals for 2018? Or are they still sitting somewhere at the back of your mind, waiting for the right time? I have to confess that my goals for 2018 have been on the back burner. I have made a couple of half hearted attempts at getting started, but life got in the way and I had a serious lack of motivation!

But that all changes today!

Setting goals

Everyone tells you to set goals that you can work towards. I tell people that all the time. They are supposed to give you focus and help to maintain your motivation to make it easier to achieve the prize. But, goals need to be carefully considered. You need to be prepared to do the work that is required to make them happen. They need to apply to you and your abilities.

When I ask my clients what they want to achieve by coming to see me, the answers are usually something like:
  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to eat a healthy diet
  • I want to control my blood sugar
  • I want more energy
  • I want to stop feeling tired
  • I want to feel more comfortable in my gym clothes
  • I don't want to feel embarrassed about jumping around at the gym

On the surface, these seem like perfectly reasonable goals. Goals that are shared by many, many, many people! But all of these desires come with a lot of mini goals that need to be conquered before the ultimate prize can be claimed. And that is where I (or any other dietician or health coach or psychologist or biokineticist) comes in. We are here to help you break down your goals into achievable packages and give you the tools required to make them happen.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I know that your boss has probably been nagging you to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and you really don't want to have to think about work when you are trying to sort out your personal life. But, the fact is that S.M.A.R.T. goals work! Applying the concept to your health goals, makes sure that you have given your desires some real thought. It may seem like work to start with, but in the long term you will have to spend less time on wondering why you just don't seem to be able to lose weight / eat a healthy diet / control your blood sugar or why you are constantly tired, because you have a plan.

For those who haven't been harassed by their bosses to set S.M.A.R.T. goals, what does S.M.A.R.T. stand for?

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Action-oriented
R = Realistic
T = Time frame

So, when you look at it like this, the goal "I want to lose weight" is very vague. It is not specific, measurable or action-oriented. It may be realistic, but it has no time frame. So how do you make it work?

2018 Health Goals

I want to lose 10kg.
Your weight can be measured on a scale on a weekly basis.
By eating well and exercising.
I want to have a BMI of 20kg/m2, but I have never had a BMI of less than 22kg/m2. Losing 10kg will take me back to 22kg/m2
Time frame:
A reasonable rate of weight loss is half a kilogram per week. I want to have lost 10kg in 5 months.

I want to lose 10kg in 5 months by eating well and exercising. This is something we can start to work with. As I mentioned before, this ultimate goal comes with a number of mini goals that involve changing your diet, setting up an exercise program and dealing with setbacks.

You need to have a plan! This plan will be the topic for next week's article.

So, start thinking about what you want to achieve in terms of your health and wellbeing. Set yourself some S.M.A.R.T. goals and next week I will help you to put a plan in place to make it easier to keep your eye on the prize.

My goal for this week is to stick to the menu I planned on Sunday night. Oops! It's only Wednesday and I have already deviated from that plan!

Wendy Signature
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