SMART Goals for 2017

I just returned from working out at my local YMCA (Leg day...yowza!). It was bustling with adults and children on the cardio floor, working out with weights, playing basketball and swimming. It was wonderful to see all of the activity. I would encourage you to stop by one of your local YMCAs to see what it can offer you. As I logged my last workout for 2016 I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the new year and encourage you to update (or create) your health and wellness goals.

I recall when I was younger going into the new year thinking I had to set some big hairy audacious goals (otherwise knows as BHAGs). That was before I learned about SMART goals. SMART stands for:

S - specific

M - measurable

A - attainable

R - realistic

T - time-bound

I definitely got SMARTer as I matured and I no longer make new year resolutions but I do set goals for myself. This week I spoke with several friends and colleagues many of whom expressed to me some of their goals for 2017.

  • "...I want to lose 10 pounds before spring break in April..."

  • "...I want to cook one healthy meal for my family each week...."

  • "...I want to schedule my doctor and dental appointment before January 10. I have not been in almost two years...."

  • "...I want to schedule an appointment with a lawyer by Feb 1 to draft my will..."

  • "...I want to schedule one date night a week with my partner..."

None of these are extraordinary goals nor do they have to deal specifically with fitness or weight loss. There are many dimensions of your health and wellness that require focus and attention. If the new year is an opportunity for you to reflect on your goals that's great. I am not a big advocate of "resolutions". I would much prefer that you set goals and revisit them based on the time-bound criteria you set. Life gets in the way and you may veer off the track briefly, but every day is a new day and an opportunity to get back on track again.

There are some other tips I would like to share that I hope might help you on your journey for 2017.

  • Find an accountability partner. This could be family or friends. Sometimes your buddy can help keep you motivated and help you stay focused on achieving your goal. You can also connect with a lifestyle coach or personal trainer at the Y who can help you create a plan and can support you in attaining your goals

  • Keep a journal. I know, you don't have time. I recently listened to a great TED talk by Laura Vanderkam on "How to gain contorl of your free time". Laura made a great point in this talk: we make time for t hings we prioritize.

  • Remember that SLIPs (sudden lapses in plan) are normal. You're only human. I plan to have a great meal tonight with friends and family. It's not on my meal plan but tomorrow morning I will start right back on the nutrition plan I set out for January.

  • Involve your family. Today at the Y I saw a mother with infant in arms on the recumbent cycle. Her little one was sleeping soundly. You can find creative ways to engage your family in your SMART goals whether it's having your children cook healthy meals with you or encouraging your partner to talk a walk after dinner.

  • Have fun. Nothing seems like work when you're having fun. Above all else remember to Live, Love and Laugh.

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve celebration. I will most likely be asleep before midnight but I will celebrate vicariously with you via text message, Instagram and Facebook. Feel free to share your thoughts about SMART goals in the comment box below. Thank you for a wonderful year.

Happy New Year to all of you!!

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