When it comes to making healthy behavior changes, like increasing our fruits and vegetables, moving our bodies more, drinking enough water, or acting on recovery from a disorder. To align yourself for accomplishment, it helps to interrupt your overall goal in small, SMART specific goals.
Many people aim to set goals that are too general and not specific enough. Which does not offer you the practical steps necessary to push them forward.
So if your goal is to eat healthier or be more active, without having practical steps in place, it will be much more difficult to achieve your goals.
Instead, specialize in little doable habits and actions that you can simply do over time that helps your health. This is often the easiest way to change your behaviors.
This is always helpful, no matter what you’re looking forward to or what you want to work on! Setting SMART objectives can help you achieve your goals, whether you’re trying to recover from a disorder, want to enhance your health, have more energy, or anything else.
Make your goals SMART:
Small –Avoid having a goal that is too overwhelming! Make it small, step by step. for example, if you’re not eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, start by adding ONE extra serving a day. Once you do, you can rest from there.
Measurable – which means you’ll be able to track them. Be as precise as possible. Taking steps to increase your intake? Set quantifiable objectives, such as “I will eat three meals and three snacks each day for at least four days per week.”
Attainable – Double-check that your goal is something you can actually achieve. Are you serious about going to the gym every day? Why not begin with three days per week? check to see whether it’s doable for YOU.
Realistic – almost as above, please confirm your goal is realistic! You don’t want to set a goal that you’re not ready to work in conjunction with your current schedule, environment, etc. or it seems too difficult for you to be successful where you are now.
Time-Bound – Make it specific by including numbers! “For the following two weeks, I will add one vegetable to my lunch,” for example.
- If you’re eager to work on increasing your water intake, say something like
- “I’ll take my bottle to calculate at least four times a week.”
- “When I wake up one weekday, I will drink a full glass of water.”
- If you are eager to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
- “During the week, I’ll try a fruit and vegetable-based alternative recipe.”
- “I will fill half my plate with vegetables for dinner 4 nights a week.”
- If you want to be involved in stress management
- “I will practice yoga to help reduce stress once a week.”
- “I will try a meditation app once a week to discover deep breathing.”
- If you want to think about sleeping better
- “I will try to show my phone half an hour before going to bed a minimum of 3 nights a week to get a better quality sleep.”
- If you are eager to increase your intake of whole grains
- “This week, I’m going to try 2 new whole grains.”
- If you are paying off eating more (erectile dysfunction recovery)
- “I will add in an extra afternoon snack with at least 2 exchanges every day this week.”
Taking Action and Tracking Goals
Once you set your SMART goals by brainstorming your areas for improvement and/or working with a registered dietitian, you can take action! Analyzing your schedule, surroundings, and other aspects of your lifestyle are important parts of making action plans. Identifying potential obstacles to achieving your goal through planning will make you much more successful in meeting your goals.
To ensure you have an action plan in place, create all the steps you will need to take to achieve your SMART goal. If your goal is to eat oatmeal 3 times a week for breakfast, you will have to at least go to the store to order oatmeal. If you always jump in to show up in the morning and don’t have time to make breakfast, you’ll have to decide if you’d like to wake up earlier to make oatmeal, or if you will make oatmeal ahead of time. Once you have developed your action plan, all you would like to do is follow the planned steps to reach your goal!
Lastly, you will have to choose how to track your progress. You will enjoy employing a smartphone app to track your food intake so that you can record once you have eaten oatmeal for breakfast or eat another food that was part of your goal. Writing down your goals and keeping a food and exercise diary are also helpful ways to track progress. If using an app or journaling doesn’t work for you, try writing down your goal once and post it on your fridge, clique, desk, or another place where it’s visible.
Once you begin to make progress toward achieving your goals, you will rest in your successes. In time, you’ll be ready to see how your SMART goals work – small, achievable steps within the larger process of losing weight and improving overall health.
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