We all want a long, happy and healthy life but we don’t always want to take the steps necessary to achieve it. Sometimes we get caught up in life/ work/ study/ caring for family and forget to take care of ourselves while other times we are too busy having a good, or sometimes bad, time and we sit on the sidelines of our health wishing we were fit, eating well, the perfect shape, or not developing lifestyle diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

So when we feel we have the time to invest in ourselves you have to grab onto that decision with both hands and start making changes. First things first, set some goals! Good goal setting has been shown to help you reach your objectives more successfully than if you don’t set goals. There’s an old saying, “a goal not written down is a wish”. It’s so true.

A goal not written down is only a wish…

So, how do you write a good goal? I hear you ask. Start by using the SMARTER formula:

  • S specific – make your goal clear. “I want to get healthy” is too broad a goal, think about specific things which might be markers of being healthy or of what you would ultimately like to achieve, “I will reduce my LDL (bad) cholesterol” or “I will increase my fitness to be able to do push ups” or “I will lose weight”.
  • M measurable – did you put a number to it so you know when you’ve achieved your goal? If not, do so now, try “I will lose 10kg” or “I will be able to jog 1km in 6 minutes”.
  • A achievable – do you think your goal is achievable? Don’t set goals too big to achieve because it just makes you feel like you’ve failed. If you set them too small then it might not be enough of a challenge – you want to use the Goldilocks principle, the goal has to be j-u-s-t right.
  • R realistic – ok you’ve decided the goals is achievable but can you still live you life to achieve it or do you have to make too many radical changes to your life?
  • T time based – give yourself a time limit to achieve your goal and use “T” to fill in a few specifics like “I will walk for 30 minutes three times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays in the afternoon as soon as I get home from work for the next month”.
  • E evaluate – okay, after the time has elapsed, how did you go? Measure the outcome you were trying to achieve. Did you successfully achieve the goal how you set out to or did you have to make small changes along the way as you found it wasn’t as realistic as you thought it was at the start?
  • R reflect and review – you can reflect and review as you go as well as at the end of the goal life. You may choose to tweak the goal as you go along if it looks like it’s too difficult or too easy to achieve. At the end of the goal life use your evaluation to help you set new goals. Did you do really well and want to use the old goals and give them another whirl if your achieved them successfully? Or do you still want the same outcome but need to make changes in how much you want to achieve, what time limit you give yourself or how you went about it?

It’s important to write your goals down and put them somewhere so you can see them regularly to remind yourself of what you want and how you want to achieve it. Try using some of the hints in last weeks blog article  to help you achieve your goals, too.

So remember, use your goals to reach for the sky but stay grounded!


contact dale now  Would you like help writing your goals? Contact Dale for a goal setting coaching session now.

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Post bydale cooke

I'm a nutritionist and dietitian with 26 years of experience helping people improve their health. Can I help you improve your health?