Setting SMART Goals

Your journey to health and wellness has already started if you're on this site - you've taken a critical step and demonstrating a desire to make some positive changes - let's turn that desire into a beautiful design for your health!

I suggest starting out by setting some goals. One thing to bear in mind right off the bat is that you don't have to plan to run a marathon right out of the starting blocks. Start small. Setting realistic, achievable goals is a great way to set yourself up for success. I recommend setting a couple of long and short-term goals, and know that you can tweak these as you go along. Here's a basic rule for goal setting - make your goals S.M.A.R.T:

S - Specific - make sure each of your goals is clear and identifiable. 
  • Example: "Week 1 - I will walk for thirty minutes at least five days this week."
M - Measurable - you'll need to be able to measure results - this is a great motivator!
  • The example above is measurable - by time (30 minutes) and how often (five days minimum)
A - Achievable - we're going for realistic goals here - this sets you up for success!
  • Example: "I will attend three classes this week and focus on all of the benefits of being active." If three classes fit into your schedule/lifestyle, then this is an achievable goal. Focusing on the benefits is definitely achievable!
R - Relevant - your goals should be appropriate and connected to what you're trying to achieve
  • If your goal is to get more active, the above goals are relevant. "I will meditate for ten minutes every day." This may not seem relevant, however, it will depend on what your overall goals are. If your goal is to get more active physically and learn to focus your mind, this goal is very relevant.
T - Time-bound - set a time limit. 
  • Example: "By end of day Sunday, I will get in a minimum of 250 minutes of physical activity." (This is achievable assuming you set the goal at the beginning of the week!)

What are some of the activities you enjoy? If you don't get a measure of enjoyment out of an activity, you're not likely to stick with it. Unfortunately, thanks to reality shows and in some cases the fitness industry itself, there is a mindset that in order to see results, you have to push yourself until you puke. Would you stick with an activity like that? I know I wouldn't. You also don't have to do it all in one go - some believe that if you don't get at least an hour in, it's not doing you any good. That's just not so. If you were to walk for 10 minutes, three times one day, you would get the same benefits as you would if you did all 30 minutes at once - it's true! Believe in small doses.

Brisk walking, gentle jogging, biking, hiking, kicking a soccer ball around with your kids, Walk "Live" class, Zumba, spin classes, strength training, Jazzercize... pick something that you enjoy and add it to your week - you have some GREAT choices out there!