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Setting SMART Goals



Before making any change, it is imperative that you know WHY you are making that change. Drilling down to the core of why your goal is important to you will keep you moving forward, even when motivation wanes.

Your reason for wanting to achieve a goal is completely personal and unique to you and your reason to change MUST be more important than your reason to stay the same.

This first step of this first week is the most crucial. What are your Top Long Term Health Goals? What would you like to achieve in the next 6-12 months? We discussed this briefly when you came in for your initial assessment and during the follow-up appointment.

With these top health goals, you can then outline short term goals (ie those accomplished in 3 months or less). Lastly, once you determined your individual goals, then you can create a specific action plan to reach those!

Week 1 Homework:

1) Set your 3 Long Term Goals

2) Set 3 Short Term Goals

3) Set 1 Action Step to take this week to reach your goals

Setting Goals using the SMART method has been shown to increase success and progress. Do know that the more short term a goal, the specific it will be.

For Example:

You decide you have a goal of Improving your Eating Habits. Maintaining healthy patterns is something you would like to accomplish within 6 months.

Using the SMART technique will help you determine:

What will you need to achieve this goal?

How will you measure your success?

WHY do you want this?

When will this be achieved?

So your initial goal of “Eating Better” turns into a SMART Goal:

“I will improve my eating habits by adopting clean eating/anti-inflammatory diet with focus on my APOE type. I will avoid all processed foods, refined ingredients and fast food.”

An Action Step might be to start eating 1 serving of vegetables each day.

How to Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals: To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:  

•           Specific (simple & sensible)

•           Measurable (motivating)

 •           Attainable (achievable)  

•           Relevant (reasonable & realistic; WHY does it matter?)

 •           Time bound (time-based, time limited)

1. Specific Your goal should be clear and specific, otherwise, you won’t be able to focus your efforts or feel truly motivated to achieve it. When drafting your goal, try to answer the five “W” questions:

•           What do I want to accomplish?

•           Why is this goal important?

•           Who is involved?

•           Where is it located?

•           Which resources or limits are involved?

2. Measurable It’s important to have measurable goals so that you can track your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal.

A measurable goal should have a set timeline and have both objective (ie your blood pressure) & subjective (ie your energy level) measurements. They should answer questions such as:

•          How much and how many?

•           When will I reach this goal?

•           How will I know when it is accomplished?

3. Attainable Your goal also needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When you set an achievable goal, you may be able to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources that can bring you closer to it. An achievable goal will usually answer questions such as:

•           What factors relating to this goal do I have control over?

•           How realistic is the goal?

•           How can I accomplish this goal?

4. Relevant This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you and that it also aligns with other relevant goals. We all need support and assistance in achieving our goals, but it’s important to retain control over them. So, make sure that your plans drive everyone forward, but that you’re still responsible for achieving your own goal.

A relevant goal can answer “yes” to these questions:

 •           Why is this important to me?  

•           Does match my other health goals and needs?

 •           What made you want to achieve this goal right now?

5. Time-bound Every goal needs a target date so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work toward. This part of the SMART goal criteria helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.

A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:  

 •           When will I achieve this?

 •           What can I do six months from now?  

•           What can I do six weeks from now?  

•           What can I do today?

Lastly, cultivating intrinsic (or internal) motivation involves knowing your WHY. The SMART Goals outline a plan of action, but the plan is only as successful as one’s desire.

It is important to sit down and write out the following:

  1. Why is this goal important to me?
  2. If you could achieve these goals, what would that mean to you?
  3. What would my life look like if I achieved this goal?
  4. How would my life (relationships, health, career etc) be affected by improving my health?
  5. If you didn’t change anything or pursue this goal, what would happen?

Week 1 Homework:

1) Write out your Top 3 Long Term & Short Term Health Goals using the SMART goal template.

2) Write out your WHY and the reason behind the Goals (the 5 questions above).

Email to us ( or bring with you to your next appointment at the office.