The SMART way to stay motivated
Jan 22, 2018
So many people start the new year with great intentions to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise. But it’s hard to keep that drive alive after the initial excitement dies down. LeeAnne Carlson holds a masters degree in community health, and has worked in health and wellness for over 20 years. She shares with us her keys to motivational success. It all comes down to setting a SMART goal.
S = Be Specific
Your goal needs to be clear and well defined. Try to stay away from general goals and don’t be afraid to start off small.
M = Make it Measurable
How do you know if you’ve met your goal, if you don’t have a way to measure your outcomes? LeeAnne suggests keeping a calendar, or other tracking device handy, so you can track your progress.
A = Plan your Action
You’ll need to work to reach your goal. Figure out what you are going to do, and what actions you plan to take to get there.
R = Be Realistic
Make sure the goal you set is realistic, but still challenging. If your goal is too difficult to achieve you will easily become discouraged and quit.
T = Keep it Timely
Assign due dates for your goals. LeeAnne recommends starting small and building on your success. Don’t commit to working out seven days a week from square one. Decide to work out twice a week for two weeks, and then increase your workout time and frequency over time.
Finally, LeeAnne says once you set your SMART goal, write it down and post it where you can see it. Those everyday reminders can be the motivation you need to continue.
If you’re the type of person who needs someone to hold you accountable, there are programs that can help. LeeAnne serves as a health coach for myWeigh to Health. The weekly, year-round program offers a team approach to help people learn real life solutions so they can make lasting lifestyle changes. Participants have access to health coaches, registered dietitians, and certified fitness professionals who provide them with the tools they need to stay motivated and reach their goals. LeeAnne says if a program isn’t for you, consider telling a friend or family member your goal. You’re more likely to succeed if you team up with someone who wants to accomplish a similar milestone, or are held accountable by someone who cares about your well-being.
And the SMART method is something Leeanne says can be applied to more than just personal fitness and nutrition.
“I like to say wellness is more than just broccoli and treadmills,” said LeeAnne. “You can use it to improve your relationships, help you with educational and technical advancement, finances, and time management. You just have to take that first step to a better you.”