The New Year is just a few days away. Have you set goals and visualized where you want to be after this year is over? Use the SMART method to help you set and achieve your goals!

Specific: Make sure your goals are focused. Make sure they identify a tangible outcome. Being more specific helps you identify what you want to achieve. Also identify what resources are going to help you achieve your goal. Without specifics you run into the risk of being too vague and that can lead to failure.

Measurable: your goal should be measurable. You should have a clear definition of what success looks like. This will help you evaluate your goal and see what progress you have made. This goal is usually a number or a how much or how many.

Attainable: your goal should challenge you, but it should also be something you can achieve. When you make your goal make sure you identify your barriers that you may need to overcome to reach your goal. Outline the steps that you will take to overcome those barriers.

Relevant/realistic: your goal should be something you can achieve. You must get real with yourself and make sure you are setting a goal you can achieve. You need to make sure your goal is aligned with your values and is something you will prioritize. It should be something that drives you as to why you want to complete this goal.

Time-based: your goal needs an end date. You need something to motivate you to apply the discipline to achieve your goal. Without an end date or realistic time frame for your goal you can become discouraged. The end date should represent the when of your goal

Examples: I want to be able to be healthy enough to keep up with and play with my children now, and their grandchildren in the future.

Short term – I will lose 5 pounds in the next 4 weeks.
S – There is a specific goal with a tangible outcome.
M – 5 lbs. is measurable.
A – 5 lbs. is challenging but attainable knowing that a 500-calorie deficit a day will lead us to a 1 lb. weight loss a week.
R– This goal is realistic. It aligns with your long-term goal of wanting to be healthy to keep up with your children.
T – This goal is time sensitive. You have 4 weeks to achieve this goal.

Long term – I want to lose 30-40 lbs. over the next year.
S– There is a specific goal with a tangible outcome.
M – 30-40 lbs. is measurable.
A – This a challenging goal but is realistic and sustainable.
R – It is relevant to my goal of wanting to be healthy for my children
T – It is time sensitive knowing that I have 1 year to complete this goal.

Other examples:
I will sleep 8 hours a night.
I will limit soda to 1 can a day this month and no soda next month.
I will exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes.
I will get in 10k steps every day
I will log my food in my fitness pal every day
I will eat 3 vegetables a day 5 times a week.

Goal setting is critical to visualize where you want to be. But without action a goal is just a dream.

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