This Year, Resolve to be SMART
Every year, people make and quickly forget their New Year’s resolutions.
Make 2017 the year you keep your resolution. This year, try using the SMART goal model. SMART is an acronym that stands for: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
What if your overall goal is to lose weight? Well then, let’s get specific. Not just about the goal, but how you’re going to get there. Don’t say you want to lose weight. That’s vague. You could lose one pound and be done. How much weight? And now that you know how much weight, how will you do it? Look at your habits and patterns and see where you can make “specific” changes. Instead of saying, I want to lose weight, figure out how you want to make that happen. Perhaps you can cut out one can of soda a day. That’s pretty specific. Or you could say you want to go for a walk three times a week for 30 minutes each time.
Is your goal measurable? How will you know when you have achieved your goal? If you know how much you would like to lose, and you know the steps you’re taking to get there, you can measure your success! It’s kind of like putting an address in your smart phone to get directions. You have a starting point and a destination. You’ll follow the steps and you’ll know when you’ve arrived. Think of this process as creating your road map.
Is your goal attainable? Losing 100 pounds in two months so you can go to your high school reunion in the dress you wore to your prom is probably not realistic…maybe aim for something smaller, like five pounds and a new dress that makes you feel good. Always set yourself up for success. No one wants to fail. Give yourself a manageable goal, and then when you’ve reached it, consider making another one.
Are your methods relevant? Do they apply to your overall goal? If your goal is to be healthy, but you’ve chosen to starve yourself in order to lose weight, that’s not healthy and you haven’t really achieved your goal. Think back to your road map. Where are you going, and how do you want to get there? Make sure the steps you are taking make sense!
What is your timing…when will you have completed this goal? Do you want to give yourself until New Year’s Eve? Setting a date to check in on your progress is helpful. It gives you an opportunity to congratulate yourself and set your next SMART goal, or to evaluate what worked and didn’t work, and make changes to your existing goals. Think back to the map…if you take a wrong turn, your phone is going to reevaluate your route and make the necessary changes. If there’s an accident or construction along the way, you get rerouted. Your map doesn’t simply send you back home. The same idea applies to your goals. If you need to reroute, or you took a wrong turn, that’s ok. Just keep moving forward.
Let us know what your goals are and how we can help. If your goal is to get finances under control, maybe applying for WIC can be one of your action steps. If you want to achieve better health for you and your family, your WIC counselor can offer some ideas to help you map out those goals, then we can track your progress with you through the year.
Happy New Years from all of us at WIC! We look forward to another year of serving you and your family!