A good goal is a SMART goal.
Smart goals are:
S = specific
M = measurable (how will you know if you met your goal)
A = actionable (what action will you take)
R = realistic
T = time lined
Example of a non-SMART goal – I will start to eat healthier lunches.
What constitutes healthy to you? What action are you going to take? When are you going to do this? How will you know you have met your goal?
Example of a SMART goal – I will pack my lunch on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, including one fruit or vegetable and a low-fat snack of less than 100 calories and no added sugar.
This goal is specific, you know exactly when you are going to do this, what action you are planning to take and how you will measure your success. There is no grey area. You either packed a lunch including a fruit/vegetable and a low-fat snack without added sugar on Tuesday and Thursday or you did not. When developing a new habit, selecting two days is more realistic than selecting “every day.”
Write your SMART goal down and post it where you will see it. Being accountable to someone can increase your chance of success from 40 percent up to 95 percent. Is there someone with whom you can share your goals who will help you stay on track?