Goals are part of every aspect of life and provide a sense of direction, motivation, focus and clarification about what matters most. You are probably familiar with the SMART framework often used for goal setting in the corporate/business world, but this framework can also be used to guide and assist you in setting health related goals. This is what the acronym stands for:
S = Specific
T = Timely
I would like to walk you through this framework so that you can set some health-related goals to keep you focused for the rest of this calendar year.
Specific – you want your goals to be well-defined, clear, sensible and significant. In order to do this you will ask yourself the five ‘W’ questions.
What do I want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?
Where is this goal to be achieved?
When do I want to achieve this goal?
Measurable – your goals should have criteria for measuring progress. To ensure that your goal is measurable ask yourself the following:
How many/how much?
How do I know I have reached my goal?
What is my indicator of progress?
Achievable – you want your goals to be attainable. It is ok for your goal to challenge you but you want to ensure that it is achievable. Ask yourself these questions:
Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve this goal?
Have others done this successfully before?
Relevant – you want your goal to matter, to be reasonable, realistic and results-based. There is no point setting a goal if you are indifferent to the outcome. To ensure that your goal is relevant, you want to answer yes to these questions:
Is the goal realistic and within reach?
Is the goal reachable given the time and resources?
Timely – you want your goal to have a clearly defined timeline, with both a start and a finish date. Without setting parameters around time, there is no urgency and without urgency there is often no motivation. A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:When is my start date?
When is my finish date?
What can I do today to work towards my goal? What can I do 6 weeks from now? What can I do 6 months from now?
One of the best things that you can do for your health, is simply make it a priority. Be proactive and intentional in your actions. Set goals for yourself that you can inch towards over the course of this week, this month and this year. Make sure that you write it down! Life is busy, you need to make time to set goals, so that you can ensure you are moving in the right direction. Today is a perfect day to set some goals for the rest of this year. #letsdothis