Goal setting can cause stress for people at times. Often, we set ourselves up for failure because we create large goals that might be unattainable unless broken down. We look at the forest instead of the tree in front of us. So how can we set ourselves up for success? Using the SMART goal format, we can make our goals achievable.
When setting a goal make sure the goal is SMART!
Below is an example of a SMART goal. The SMART format can help children, adolescents, and adults are successful in making the changes they desire.
Specific: I want to exercise more to reduce my A1C (A1C is a measurement of your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months). Exercise will also help improve my mental and physical health.
Measurable: I will walk on the treadmill 3 days per week for 45 minutes each day.
Achievable: I have a treadmill in my home, I can walk on the track down the street, and I can go to a local community center or gym.
Relevant: Think about why your goal is important to you. This goal is important because I do not want to be at risk for Type II diabetes. Also, I have used movement in the past, and I know it helps me feel better physically and mentally.
Time-bound: This refers to the amount of time you feel you need to reach your goal. In this example, you might choose to pick a time frame that coincides with the next time you are getting blood work done to measure your A1C.
When setting goals, we recognize that the goal might change at some point. Therefore, monitoring and re-evaluating will be important. Before you know it, you may be ready to start turning that walk into a jog or run!
By: Lauren Koby, PsyD