Immediately after the holiday calories stick to our ribs, we are usually quick to make a New Years resolution to get them off. When working with patients to encourage behavior change, we often utilize the “SMART” goal tool. Initially designed as a business management tool, it easily translates into medicine, and is distilled into the following elements:
Specific – who, what, when, where
Measurable – visible, objective criteria
Attainable – realistic in scope
Relevant – worth your time and effort
Timely – within a specific amount of time
Take a look at your personal weight loss goals for the New Year and reshape them using this format. “Lose weight” becomes “I will lose 5 pounds in the next 30 days by eliminating sugary beverages.” “Exercise more” becomes “I will take the stairs instead of the elevator every day this week.” Finally, “Wear smaller jeans” becomes “I will be able to wear a size 11 dress by Susan’s wedding in July.”
With a simple rephrasing, the vague and sometimes overwhelming nature of goals can be clarified, allowing for a more positive weight loss experience. What is your SMART goal? Tell us on our Facebook page!