Get S.M.A.R.T. With Your Goals

Written by Team Optimity

3 minute read

Goals. Have you ever set a goal for yourself?  If someone were to ask you right now what your top 3 goals are, what would you say? Chances are that at least 1 of them is health-related. Health is the cornerstone of our well-being, so naturally, we make goals to improve it. But too often, our health goals that start off strong tend to weaken over time. 

So what makes a goal stick? How do people successfully achieve their goals, with all the distractions of day to day life? A lot of research points to S.M.A.R.T. goals, a nifty acronym that provides us with a recipe for setting and achieving our goals.

Here’s what it all stands for:

S – Specific

M – Measurable 

A – Attainable

R – Realistic 

T – Timely

Our goals should follow this S.M.A.R.T. criteria and here’s how to set them:  

Specific

A specific goal indicates what you would like to achieve and how you plan on achieving it. The more specific your goal is, the better chance you’ll have at reaching it.

For instance, simply aiming to “be more active”, is a vague goal. It lacks specificity…but it’s a good start! To build on this, consider the following questions: What exactly do I want to achieve? Where? How?  When? With whom? Why?  

By answering these questions, you can create mini-goals that will contribute to an over-arching goal of being more active. Here’s an example: 

I will go on brisk, 10-minute walks around the neighbourhood, 5 days a week.

Measurable

A measurable goal allows you to track how you’re doing. That way you can hold yourself accountable and get excited each time you fulfill your goal. 

Using the example from above – brisk, walking 10 minutes a day, for 5 days a week – you can pluck out the measurable elements of “10 minutes daily” and “5 times weekly”. This is the concrete evidence that you want. It will make your goal easier to reach.

Attainable and Realistic

Attainable and realistic goals require some self-reflection. Consider your present lifestyle, circumstances and habits. How will they hinder or advance the development of your goal?

What resources are available to you to help you achieve your goal? If you take public transport, for example, why not structure a fitness goal around it by committing to getting off a stop early and walking every other day of the week? Using aspects of your daily routine to fuel your goals will make you more likely to succeed. 

Remember: It’s all about finding a fine balance with your goals. Anything too challenging will easily become demotivating and anything too easy will soon become disinteresting. Consider your desire and ability to hit that sweet spot of an equally challenging and rewarding goal.

Making goals: Time-oriented

A time-oriented goal will have an expiration date. How long will you commit to achieving your goal? When will you expect to see your desired results?

Whether your goal spans a few weeks or an entire year, it’s very important to closely monitor your goal using a timeframe. That way you can track your progress and celebrate your success. 

Guess what? You’re already working towards a S.M.A.R.T. goal by using Optimity. Your daily step goal fits the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. That means each time you reach your daily step count or meet a step-up challenge you’ve successfully completed a S.M.A.R.T goal, way to go!

What are some other areas of your life that you can set healthy S.M.A.R.T goals in? Do you want to start eating more fruit and vegetables? Would you like to create a gratitude journal? Let us know – we’d love to hear!

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