It’s January, the time of year when many renew their commitment to better health. Many of us set well intentioned goals, only to find ourselves frustrated and unmotivated shortly after the New Year commences. How can we make changes that will last this year?
Consider charting a path for your personal success with SMART goal setting. SMART stands for:
Specific: Identify what you are trying to achieve and when, where and how you will get there.
Measurable: The goal and its benefits should be quantifiable (i.e. how many days you will exercise).
Action-oriented: What steps are necessary to achieve your goal?
Realistic and Relevant: The goal must be practical, given available resources and time. The goal should challenge you but allow the likelihood of success. The goal must be important to you and relevant to your particular interests, needs and abilities.
Time-bound: Steve Smith said, “The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.” Set a specific time frame to achieve your goal.
Setting goals in this way brings greater clarity to what we want and how we will get there. SMART goals prevent us from placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves or taking on more than we are prepared to handle. They gives us a system of accountability to make sure we are moving in the right direction. Most importantly, SMART goals help us pursue something that has personal value and significance - something worth fighting for.
To remain motivated throughout your health journey, focus on how the lifestyle changes you make will personally benefit you. While lifestyle changes of any kind require hard work, dedication and consistent efforts, focusing on the cost of change is hardly inspiring. Create a list of benefits, and read it regularly to renew your motivation throughout the year.
Consider health coaching for additional support, accountability and guidance with your personal health goals. Our health coaches will help you transform your personal health goals into action in a supportive environment. To learn more about our programs, contact us.