Set yourself up with a successful strategy for reaching your goals by using the “SMART” formula! SMART is a tool that helps provide clarity, focus, and motivation to achieve your goals. It encourages you to clearly define your objectives and set a completion date.
Here’s an example: You want to incorporate a regular fitness routine into your schedule but you aren’t quite sure how to start or what to do. Maybe you have never exercised before. That’s okay! Take baby steps and start small, just one step at a time.
Here’s how to use SMART:
- S: Specific. Your goal should be clear and focused so you are truly motivated to achieve it. When creating your goal, try to determine exactly what it is you want to accomplish and why your goal is important to you.
- M: Measurable. Having measurable goals allows you to track and assess your progress. For example, instead of “I’m going to walk regularly,” try “I am going to walk for 20 minutes at least three days a week.”
- A: Achievable. In order to be successful, your goal should be achievable. If you are new to exercise, don’t expect to run a marathon on your first day, or even run at all. Start with baby steps and build on them! Celebrate each victory, no matter how small.
- R: Realistic. You can tell yourself, “I’m never going to miss a workout.” But in reality, kids get sick, bosses call emergency meetings, and tires go flat. Instead, make yourself a promise you can keep, like “I will work out on the elliptical for up to 30 minutes, five days or more per week at my local gym. I will allow myself two or more rest days per week.”
- T: Time-based. Every goal should have a target date so you have a deadline to focus on and work toward. It’s important to give yourself a realistic timeframe to achieve your final objective. Set dates for when you want to accomplish your goals and write them on your calendar. Having that visual reminder will help keep you accountable.
Help make your goals a reality by using a vision board. Collect pictures of your family and friends, cut out images in magazines that speak to you, and find inspiration through quotes and other meaningful words. Then post it on your board.
Get creative and have fun with it! You could also create a digital vision board and set it as your mobile or computer background so you can see it every day.
This formula will also help as you work through the new Habits of Health Transformational System. Ask us, your OPTAVIA Coaches, about other SMART techniques to achieve your goals on your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time®.