Be SMART in 2023! You can start off 2023 with a strong beginning and steady progress through the entire year, meeting goal after goal, by following a the following guru advise about setting goals and making them a reality!
People who write down their goals are 50% more likely to achieve their goals compared with people who do not write down their goals. All motivational ‘gurus’ promote writing down goals and carrying the goals with you.
Yet less than 3% of people put their goals on paper. Setting a goal and writing it down is your first step towards making the invisible goal, visible. Once visible, you are one step closer to making it a reality!
Over 90% of New Year’s resolutions fail by January 15 and therefore we have a National Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day (January 17). But that does not need to be you. You do not need to fall into the ditch. Keep reading!
Sharing your goals with someone you can be accountable to will increase the chances even more you will achieve your goal. Goals can be fluid and may, in the end, be very different than the original intent. If you are carrying your goals with you, as the new ideas come into your mind, you can write them down right away so they will not get lost.
Achieving your goals will usually require sacrificing something else. Nothing is free in this life. What are you willing to do to have your best health? Are you willing to do whatever it takes, including sacrificing a habit/food/drink, etc., to achiever your best health?
The old saying goes: “life is about the journey.” As you think about your health goals, consider the journey you will take to achieve those goals. How will you schedule your health journey into your everyday life to reach your goal? If you map out your journey, you will have a better chance of reaching your destination.
In business we call this process a “critical pathway” for achieving our business goals. On this critical pathway we have all the known necessary steps needed to achieve the goal in a timely fashion. Dates are set for each step according to when each phase needs to be achieved to avoid project delays. Individuals assigned to a step are accountable to the whole group for successful completion and achievement of that step and the larger project or goal.
You can use this same concept with your health goals. You can break down your ultimate goal into smaller journey goals, and you can track your progress along the way. When a task is completed you can reward yourself. This could be something as simple as putting a gold star of successful achievement beside the smaller goals as they are reached day by day. You may think this sounds a bit childish, but I can assure you it works; it is motivational. As you see the gold stars adding up you become more and more motivated to continue toward the goal whether you
are 4 or 94 years old. After a set number of stars (you set the number) you can receive a larger reward; something that you enjoy and does not involve food or drink!
Statistics from http://www.goalband.co.uk/goal-achievement-facts.html
Writing down goals and mapping out a plan for the successful achievement of those goals can go a long way toward making your goals a reality! The adage is true, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Not writing down your goals and making a plan to achieve those goals, is like setting out for a destination without any tools or maps to guide you in your journey. Without a mapped out plan you do not know how to reach your destination and you will simply depend on luck to get
you there. How has that worked out so far?
Setting SMART Goals
To help you get started on your health journey, consider five crucial aspects to help you in your planning. SMART is an acronym that contains the five crucial aspects as outlined below:
Specific: Your goal should be well defined as to what you specifically want to accomplish.
Here are some examples:
“I currently weigh 220 pounds and I want to lose 7% of my total body weight, or 15 pounds before June 1, 2023.”
“My current average glucose is ~200 mg/dl. I want to lower my fasting glucose to less than 126 mg/dl and my after meals glucose to less than 140 mg/dl with an overall average less than 140 mg/dl in 90 days or less.”
Avoid being vague, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to lower my glucose” or “I want to be pain free.”
Measurable: Once you have the specific goal, establish way to track and measure your progress. If your goal includes weight management, how often will you weight to check on your progress? “I will weigh naked every morning, after using the restroom and before drinking water, to assess whether what I did yesterday was a success and why or why not. I will compare my food intake, exercise, etc. with my weight to reason from cause to effect.”
Maybe your goal is to stay more hydrated. “I will drink 8 glasses of water and/or unsweetened herbal teas.” You can add 8 rubber bands to your glass and remove one each time you drink a glass of water. Or you can purchase a 64-ounce water bottle has little reminder lines on it to help you keep track how you are doing throughout the day.
If your goal is to move more: “I will exercise 30 minutes every day (in the fresh air and sunshine, weather permitting), plus take 250 steps every hour. I will break up my 30 minutes of cardio exercise as follows:
10 minutes before breakfast
10 minutes on lunch break before I eat
10 minutes when I arrive home
If I do not have my step goal at the top of the hour, I will go to the restroom and jog in place until I have reached 250 steps minimum per hour.
I will increase one minute each week and in 30 weeks (put a date on that week) I will be exercising the recommended 60 minutes a day.”
Investing in a fitness tracker would be helpful in measuring your exercise goals achievements.
Accountability: Having someone to report to holds us accountable and helps us achieve some great things we may not have accomplished without the accountability element. Can you think of someone you trust, who will encourage you, but not be like a food/goal police? Ask this person if they will help you stay focused to achieving your goals.
Realistic: Is the goal realistic and doable for you, not for your spouse or friend? You need to own your goal to achieve it.
If your goal is weight management, 1-pound weight loss (gain) per week or less is realistic. I would set your goal to something you know you can do with your current life. If you have had trouble losing weight start with ¼-pound a week. Small steps are progress! Medicare understand this, that is why the Medicare Weight Management Program requires a person to lose only 1.1 pounds a month to remain in the program; a very realistic goal for everyone who needs to lose
Following our Start A New YOU!® program recommendations, for most people a fasting glucose of 126 mg/dl and a 2-hours after eating goal of 140 mg/dl is achievable within 90-days for less. Check out the Start a New YOU!® Program:
Avoid unrealistic goals, “I’ll lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks.” Or if your glucose levels are running in the 300s, to consistently meet target in one week is not realistic and you are going to feel lousy if you try without medical supervision. For a sedentary person to start with 60 minutes of exercise a day as their goal is going for work for about 1 day. Then sore muscles will prevent exercise on day 2. And by the time muscles are healed, you are no longer interested in repeating that scenario, and I wouldn’t either. Some of my clients start with a goal of 2 minutes. Start where
you need to start and gradually increase to the level that is right for you.
Time bound: Every SMART goal has a goal achievement time element. “Starting January 3, I will lose 10 pound before June 30…” Include starting and achievement dates and the specific process of how you are going to get successful from January 3 to June 30 weigh 10 pounds lighter.
Be SMART! Set yourself up for success by making your own personalized SMART goal.
Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage,
but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.
Need help with your SMART goal development and achievements?
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