Be SMART about Setting Goals

Spring is a great time for a fresh start! The days are brighter and the mood is lighter. The time is ripe for new beginnings. So, let’s be SMART and get started.


S: Set a very specific goal. I will add one fruit serving — that’s half a cup, chopped– to my current daily diet.

M: Find a way to measure progress. I will log my efforts each day on my calendar.

A: Make sure it’s achievable. Be sure you’re physically capable of safely accomplishing your goal. If not, aim for a smaller goal.

R: Make sure it’s realistic. It may seem counterintuitive, but choosing the change you most need to make — let’s say, quitting smoking or losing weight — isn’t as successful as choosing the change you’re most confident you’ll be able to make. Focus on sure bets: If you picture a 10-point scale of confidence in achieving your goal, where 1 equals no confidence and 10 equals 100% certainty, you should land in the 7-to-10 zone. An additional fruit serving a day is a small, manageable step toward better health.

T: Set time commitments. Pick a date and time to start — Wednesday at breakfast, I’ll add frozen blueberries to cereal — and regular check-in dates: I’ll check my log every week and decide if I should make any changes to succeed. When setting commitments, outside deadlines can be really helpful. Signing up for a charity run or sprint triathlon on a certain date prods you to get a training program under way.


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