Steps to making change using SMART Goals

Making a change in your life can be overwhelming. You want to practice healthier behaviors but you may be wondering where to begin. The key is to set goals that are both actionable and achievable. You can take action on them and they are realistic in that you can achieve them. We always encourage starting small and writing out your goal or goals.

Smart goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. What does this mean? It means your goal should be significant in that it’s something you want to accomplish, improve or change but also simple. Your goal should be meaningful to you enough so that it ignites motivation and is measurable in that you can track your progress. Your goal should be attainable and realistic in that it is something that you believe you can do with the right kind of support, information and discipline. Finally, your goal should be time limited so you again can measure your success before you move on to your next target goal.

It is okay to have a shorter term goal and then a longer term goal.

Here is an example of a long term goal: Reduce my cholesterol levels by my next annual doctor visit

Here is an example of a short term goal: Reduce my daily sodium intake for the next four weeks

Here is an example of how you may begin reaching this goal the SMART way:

  • Eat foods with less sodium in them for each meal of the day

  • Read food labels and choose foods low in sodium

  • You would limit adding salt to your prepared food and in your cooking

  • You would eat more fruits and vegetables, foods low in fat, less processed and fast foods

  • Get support and encouragement from your significant other, friend, family member or health coach

How will you know if you reached your goal?

  • You can keep track of and log your daily/weekly foods for four weeks

  • You would re-evaluate to see your success. If you have accomplished your goal, you may continue this until your next annual physical with your doctor.

To learn more or for guidance from a Health Coach contact us by phone or email.

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