Looking forward to 2018? Well it’s that time of year again. Most folks set their resolutions or goals for the new year. Losing weight, eating healthier, going to the gym, taking a class, and doing something on the “bucket list” are often popular targets. Usually we’re picking something we want to improve to make our life better. No matter what we pick to start or stop — consistency is key.
Let me interject one point here—before consistently working toward that goal, it is important to set a “good” goal. We can use the SMART acronym (see note below) to set up for success.
S – specific
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – realistic
T – time based
Eating healthier is a good goal. Will this general of a goal be met and can it be measured? No to both. How about eating one salad every day for two months? It is specific, measurable, and time based, but is it doable and realistic? It is doable but possibly not realistic. It would depend on one’s schedule and lifestyle. Let’s change the goal to eating 3 salads a week for 1 month. Is that better? What about eating 2 servings of fruits/vegetables 5 times a week for a month? The specific goal can be tweaked to compliment one’s goals, schedule, and lifestyle. Plan for success without making it too easy or too difficult. Next, evaluate what to do based on how much of the goal was reached.
Once a “good” goal is decided, planning step by step how to reach it is important. Having the healthy foods on hand to eat is one step. Preparing and cooking foods ahead is another step. Remember that racking up daily short term successes can result in long-term results. Consistency means doing something in a regularly scheduled way.
When consistently working toward a goal, it is not easy to see results on a daily basis. Results are often seen after weeks of consistent investment toward reaching that goal. All of the hard work, overcoming obstacles, and many times of getting back on track are worth it for the results that can be achieved. Consistency is key!
Note: According to Wikipedia, George Doran first used the SMART acronym. Doran, G. T. (1981). “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”. Management Review. AMA FORUM. 70 (11): 35–36.