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What's So Smart About SMART Goals?

When setting health goals, or any goals for that matter, setting SMART goals may be the key to your success.

S= Specific

M= Measurable

A= Attainable

R= Realistic

T= Time-Bound

SMART goals are realistic as well as achievable. They are also small and specific. When we make big goals and fail we feel defeated. When we take small steps and achieve our goals, we increase our self-efficacy—our confidence in our ability to accomplish what we set out to do. Success breeds success.

So what is an example of a SMART goal?

To make the goal "I will eat more vegetables," SMART, you could say, "At dinner on Monday and Tuesday evenings (time-bound), I will make half my plate vegetables (measurable, specific)."

In the process of goal setting, you are going to have your overarching goal, e.g. lose 5-8 lbs in a month, and then some specific SMART goals that help you achieve your goal. It can be overwhelming to think about your larger goal, so it's best to focus on achieving your smaller goals which serve to bring you closer to your larger goal. In addition, while your overall goal will remain the same you may come to revise your smaller goals or change them all together according to your experience.

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