Goal setting should be an integral part of modern life- we are all busy, have a lot to manage, and it is hard to balance everything without a well-laid plan. The problem is, most of us fall short of our goals because we don't create a clearly defined SMART plan.
Think of a few goals you may want to achieve in your life. Maybe you want to get a promotion, lose weight, or spend more time with loved ones. Whatever you want to achieve, making a SMART plan can help improve your chances of being successful by providing research-supported strategies.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Making a SMART plan helps turn our lofty goals into highly specific steps that are easy to follow. Below is an example of how to make a SMART plan for the popular “I want to get fit” goal.
Goal: I want to get fit
1. Make your plan Specific. Consider the Who, What, Where, When, and How that are needed to achieve your plan.
I will run 3 times per week at my local park after work for 30 minutes.
2. Make your plan Measurable. Identify how you will measure your success. It is helpful to set specific check-in dates to help you stay organized.
I will measure success as having worked out at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes. I will check in with my goal every Friday.
3. Make your plan Attainable. Creating plans that are attainable is essential for you to be successful and to build your self-confidence. Be realistic with yourself- each step you take counts.
I am capable of working out at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes.
4. Make sure your plan is Relevant.
Your plan should align with your broader health goals. We are all limited to 24 hours a day, so make sure your plan is something that you want to spend time working on.
Exercising regularly is consistent with my value of working on being the healthiest version of myself.
5. Make your plan Time-Bound.
A time-bound plan gives you the ability to see the finish line, reflect on the progress you made, and react to any changes to the plan you originally set.
I will run for 1 month.
SMART Plan: I will run 3 times per week at my local park after work for 30 minutes for the next month. I will check in each week on Friday to evaluate my plan and see how I am doing.
Notice anything? By following the SMART plan process, the common goal "I want to get fit" has now been turned into a step by step plan. This stuff really works!
Once you have completed your SMART plan, make sure to reward yourself for the progress you make. It is not easy to build healthy habits, and rewards are important for acknowledging the efforts made and for keeping us motivated while we work towards our goals.
The next step is to evaluate your SMART plan and decide if you need to add or take away from the plan to continue working towards achieving our goal.
Want help creating a SMART plan?
TOVI health coaches are here to help you create SMART plans so you can start making healthy changes in your life. To access one of our health coaches, use the chat window in the TOVI app.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Written by Alyson Rogers
Alyson is a NASM certified personal trainer, loving wife, mom of one, and loves to translate abstract ideas and research into easy-to-read blogs for TOVI users.