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Published on July 19, 2017

Sick of failing at making a change? Think SMART

These tips will help you learn how to set achievable goals and get you back on track.

Have you ever set a goal that was unachievable? When you decide to make changes in your life, it is best to create a game plan or a map of what you need to do to reach your goals. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with day-to-day life, but if you lose sight of the big picture, you won't get the results you want.

The best way to set yourself up for success is to make sure that your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Using SMART goals is a proven way to create goals that you can stick with for the long haul.

Specific

Your goal is specific if it answers these questions:

  • Who is involved in helping you reach your goal?
  • What specific goal do you want to accomplish?
  • When will you start and when will you reach the goal?
  • How will you make it happen?

Measurable

Do you know if you made progress or achieved your goal? Examples of measurable goals might be adding a specific number of fruits and vegetables to your daily intake or how many glasses of water you have drank each day. Find something that you can measure at the end of your goal so you know you've achieved what you set out to do.

Attainable

Set a goal that you believe you can reach. Setting attainable goals will help you realize what you can do right now. This will also help you meet goals and feel that you have accomplished what you set out to do.

Relevant

Choose a goal that you feel is important and that will fit your life. You need to ask yourself why you want to achieve it. This is your motivation to make a change. Pick a goal that means something and you'll be set for success.

Timely

Setting a time to complete your goal will keep you on track. You can even set up mini goals inside your larger goal to help keep you on track in the short term. Remember the big picture, but setting up goals on a shorter time frame can help you see your progress and keep you motivated to continue on your way to a healthier life.

The Bottom Line

Did you succeed? If you are struggling to meet your goal, you may need to tweak your goals to continue to make progress. Life is constantly changing, and sometimes we have to change to adapt. It is OK to make changes to your goal to help you be successful.

Be sure to check on your progress. If you are struggling, or no longer motivated, maybe your goal needs to be changed. Don't look at this as failure. Making changes can be hard and sometimes goals need to be revised to keep us on target.

Good luck and happy SMART goals setting!

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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