It’s the New Year, and that means it’s time to uncover the S.M.A.R.T- er way to Goal Setting so you can achieve all your great big dreams this year.
There’s the usual approach to Goal Setting on New Year’s Eve which is to make a blanket statement resolution, which is pretty non-committal like: “I want to lose 5 pounds” or “I want to run a 5km” or “I want to lower my blood pressure” in the new year. What isn’t mentioned is how you are going to get there. What steps are you going to put in place to successfully achieve your goal? One of my favorite lessons from the Wellcoaches course I took was learning how to set goals in order to successfully achieve them. It starts with creating a Wellness Vision.
Create a Wellness Vision
The S.M.A.R.T.-er way to goal setting is to create a Wellness Vision. Keep it positive by focusing on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Create a bold vision that you wish to achieve and write it down on paper in the present tense.
Wellness Vision Example
“I am able to jog 5km without stopping and it feels great! I’ve lost 5 pounds since I’ve started jogging. I’m happy I took this time to work on me. It feels great to sleep through the night now that I am jogging 4 days a week, plus I have the added benefit of steady energy all day at work”.
I have improved focus and concentration at work
My confidence has increased
My dress size has gone down
My blood pressure reading has decreased
I am lowering my risk for heart disease
Through accessing the motivators you can begin to set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-based) goals that will get you one step closer to achieving your personal Wellness Vision.
A good way to approach using the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting System is to develop sets of Behavioral Goals. These goals should reflect lifestyle changes you wish to make on the journey towards your Wellness Vision.
Behavioral Goal Examples
“I have signed up for a 5km race for a charity I support. The race is in 6 months’ time.”
First 3 Month Goal: “I will walk 5 km three times a week; it will take me 60 minutes each time”.
Continue to break the goal down into Realistic, Achievable chunks.
Week 1 Goal: “I will walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week at 60-70% of my target heart rate. I will walk Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm. I will perform 10 minutes of daily stretching exercises to prevent injury; I will do these exercises before going to bed”.
Week 2 Goal: “I will walk for 45 minutes 4 times a week at 60-70% of my target heart rate. I will walk Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm and Sunday at 10am. I will perform 10 minutes of daily stretching exercises to prevent injury; I will do these exercises before going to bed.”
Building in Accountability is a great way of monitoring your Goal Setting. Ask a family member to call you every Sunday night so you can report how successful you were attaining your goals for the previous week. Developing an Accountability check-in means you are more likely to stay on track. If you aren’t ready to share your results with others, be accountable to yourself by keeping checklists and logs. Remember to keep focusing on the positive and don’t hesitate to tweak your goals if needed to achieve your vision.
It’s helpful to set a few Measurable goals like checking in with the scale every Sunday or checking blood pressure readings monthly. Checking in on Measurable Goals demonstrates how your new behaviors are working. Positive results serve as additional motivation towards achieving the wellness vision.
Now go grab a notebook and start writing a Wellness Vision for yourself. Set a few behavioral goals to work towards your vision. Use the SMART-er system to set Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Based Goals.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”. ~ Tony Robbins
Andrea Beazley Fubler, Registered Holistic Nutritionist