• Setting SMARTER Goals

    For Your Heart Health

  • Goal Setting

    When it comes to your health, the only way I know to effectively track your progress is to create milestones. When we make changes it can be difficult to remember where we started and stay motivated to reach our end goal. Milestones show us what we are accomplishing and allow us to see how we can accomplish even more.

      

    “Setting goals is the first step from turning the invisible to visible.” — Tony Robbins


    This is where creating and accomplishing goals plays into your long-term health.


    If you have ever read statistics or articles on goal setting before you will have read two things:

     

    1. People without goals are not as successful as they would like to be.
    2. People who don’t write down goals are less likely to accomplish them. 


    What I have learned over years of striving to achieve a healthy lifestyle is how important SMART goals are to staying motivated and helping my dreams come true. SMART goals help us to create and see milestones throughout our journey to health.


    The next 4 weeks are the first steps in achieving your ultimate heart health goal. It’s important that you set at least 1 goal for this programme.

    Make your goal visible

    For many there is a fear of goal setting. This is usually because they have failed to reach their goals before and felt terrible or embarrassed about not being able to accomplish what they set out to do.The problem doesn’t lie with will power or ‘weakness’ it is simply down to a lack of clear goal setting and action steps.

     

    Before you get started, there is one thing you must know. You cannot set more than 5 goals. Yes, 5 goals. This is the maximum that is achievable in a 12 month period if you are trying to achieve something big and long-term.

     

    Why? If you spread yourself too thin, you will start to let things drop. This will start to feel like you have failed. You will be disappointed in your performance against these goals and you will ultimately give up on all of them.

    Creating SMARTER Goals

    You have probably heard of the S.M.A.R.T. goal system (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-bound). This is a great system. In fact, I have used this system to achieve my goals of becoming a Nutritional Therapist, having better digestive health, managing my food intolerances and opening my own business.

     

    You can take these goals even further with a bit of ER!

     

    Let’s start putting some goals together using the SMARTER System. We will walk through each part in order to help you create goals you can achieve. And understand how this system can work for you.

    Specific

    This one sounds pretty simple right? Just write something down that is specific. The question is how specific do I need to be? And the answer - the more specific you are, the easier it will be to quantify your results along the way.

     

    For example, if you want to lose weight, to be more specific, how much weight do you want to lose? Better yet, what weight would you like to be at the end of pursuing your goal?

     

    A specific goals says this: I will weigh ____kg by the end of February
     

    Measurable

    We want to quantify our goals. To make a goal measurable, we need to be able to see progress over time. Say your goal is to eat more fruit and vegetables. How do we make it measurable?

     

    You will need to make it very specific and measurable by going into more detail which you can track. In this specific goal for eating more fruit and vegetables:

     

    I will eat 2 pieces of fruit and 5 portions of vegetables every day. At breakfast I will have 1 portion of fruit at lunch I will have 2 portions of vegetables, I will have 1 fruit snack and at dinner I will have 3 portions of vegetables.
     

    Actionable

    Every goal should be actionable in terms of getting somewhere. However, when writing goals, we are talking about writing it as an action. Not merely saying, “I want to exercise more.”

     

    The action is saying you ‘will’ or simply ‘read’ in this example. It is about doing it. And this is one reason goals are great milestones to your dreams. You are taking action in order to see your dreams come true. So try this:

     

    I will walk for 35 minutes every day.

    Actionable

    Every goal should be actionable in terms of getting somewhere. However, when writing goals, we are talking about writing it as an action. Not merely saying, “I want to exercise more.”

     

    The action is saying you ‘will’ or simply ‘read’ in this example. It is about doing it. And this is one reason goals are great milestones to your dreams. You are taking action in order to see your dreams come true. So try this:

     

    I will walk for 35 minutes every day.

    Relevant

    The ‘R’ in here can be is relevant or relatable. Is your goal relevant or relatable to your life. When you set a goal you need to think about your current situation.

    You need to create goals you can accomplish at your stage in life.

     

    For example: Are you a mother of three who works 45 hours a week? You may not be able to workout 2 hours a day if you want to reach 20% body fat. Try this:

     

    I will decrease my percent body fat by 5%, my start percent is _______.

    Relevant

    The ‘R’ in here can be is relevant or relatable. Is your goal relevant or relatable to your life. When you set a goal you need to think about your current situation.

    You need to create goals you can accomplish at your stage in life.

     

    For example: Are you a mother of three who works 45 hours a week? You may not be able to workout 2 hours a day if you want to reach 20% body fat. Try this:

     

    I will decrease my percent body fat by 5%, my start percent is _______.

    Time-Bound

    Every goal needs a deadline. Why? So you are forced to take action in a certain time frame. Simply saying you will do something isn’t good enough.

     

    You need to say when you will complete it. This way you will need to map your path to success.

     

    Otherwise, you will always have the goal but never have urgency to accomplish it.

     

    Going back to the goal of getting more exercise:

     

    I will go swimming 15 times by 30th January.

    Evaluate

    This is where the real magic happens when it comes to your goals. We need to regularly evaluate our progress. When I ask people how often they looked at their goals, they typically say ‘a few times over the year’.

     

    This is why people fail at their goals.

     

    I evaluate my goals every month and every week I read them. I use a monthly planner to help me with this and to fill in the steps I will take this month towards that goal.

     

    This helps me remember what I am trying to do and makes sure I take action each week.

     

    If there is anything you do differently about your goals, this needs to be it.

    Reward

    Finally we come to the last ‘R’ reward. When we set reward our work and evaluate (the previous category) our goals it helps us stay motivated.

     

    Every goal and milestone needs a reward. We love getting something for a job well done.

     

    When we are working toward our dreams, these little earned items help us to celebrate our milestones and be ready for the next step.

     

    Here is an example of a reward for reaching your goal of walking for 35 minutes daily: I will buy myself a new pair of luxury shoes that are comfortable and stylish.

     

    You may have really struggled with goals before. And if you are like me, you might have even failed at the goals you set for yourself. But this doesn’t have to be true of you anymore.

    Goal Setting For This Course

     

    “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” — C.S. Lewis

     

    I love this quote because it reminds me how the goals we set for ourselves now, no matter our age or stage in life, will help us change our story in the end.

     

    For the next 4 weeks, concentrate on the goals of this course e.g. For the next 4 weeks I will only eat heart healthy food, I will exercise 16 times and I will actively seek time to work on my breathing.

     

    I like to write things down, so I'll write down what I ate, how much water I drank, how I felt that day, what exercise I completed. You can do do this using this download or using a notebook.

     

    Let 2020 be your year!

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Last updated on 30th May 2020