You are not alone if you find it difficult to meet your health objectives year after year. You are not alone if your New Year’s resolutions often fail. Let me make it clear, It is not easy to maintain physical health goals and mental health goals at the same time. We all want to change and progress in life. There might be that one habit that you want to change, you plan for it, and you follow it for a while, but in the end, you repeat the previous cycle that made you miserable. This might be happening to you if you haven’t planned your goals properly.
When it comes to making lifestyle changes, setting goals is an essential component of success, and when it comes to setting goals, using the SMART framework can help ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.In this article, we will explore how to use SMART goals to make healthy lifestyle changes that stick.
Why set goals for lifestyle changes in the first place?
Before we could understand the concept of SMART Goals, we had to first ask ourselves, “Why to set goals in the first place?”
There are many reasons why setting goals can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. Here are just a few of the reasons.
- It helps you to clarify your priorities: Setting goals forces you to think about what is most important to you and what you want to achieve in life.
- Helps in measuring progress: Goals provide a way to measure your progress and see how far you have come.
- It keeps you motivated: Having clear goals can help keep you motivated, even when things get tough.
- It helps you hold yourself accountable: When you set goals, you are holding yourself accountable to your own expectations. Even if you fail you failed because you could not keep up with your goals.
What is SMART goal setting?
Setting SMART goals is a method that is used to help people define and implement their intentions. SMART goals are primarily used in the healthcare setting. Still, seeing the results they produce, they are also successfully used in business and educational settings because they help to build a sense of ownership and personal importance when trying to make important changes.
A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The SMART Goal criteria are helpful in developing guidance and realistic direction in goal setting, which increases motivation and leads to better results in achieving lasting change in life. Let us explore what each of these components means and how you can apply them to change your lifestyle completely.
- Setting Specific goals: The first step in setting a SMART goal is to make it specific in nature. This means clearly defining what you want to achieve. For example, if you want to start exercising more, a specific goal might be to walk 30 minutes a day. Five days a week.
- Measurable goals: The very next step after setting up a specific goal is to make it measurable. This means identifying how you will track your progress toward achieving your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 kilograms in one month, you can measure your progress by weighing yourself once a week.
- Achievable Goals: The third step in setting a SMART goal is to make it achievable. This includes setting a goal that is challenging but also realistic given your current circumstances. For example, if you haven’t exercised or run 10 km in a go, you cannot expect yourself to run and win in a marathon.
- Relevant Goals: The fourth component of a SMART Goal is to be relevant. This means setting a goal that is meaningful in nature to you and it aligns with your values and priorities.
- Time-Bound Goals: The final component of a SMART goal is a time-bound goal. This means setting a specific timeframe for achieving your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 kgs in two months, that is considered to be a time-bound goal. Without a specific timeframe, it is easy to put off working toward your goal and lose motivation.
Setting SMART goals is a powerful tool for achieving success in making lifestyle changes, and by making your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you can create a clear plan of action and stay motivated as you work towards achieving your goals. Remember, making lifestyle changes takes time and effort, but with the SMART goals approach, you can do it.