When I launched this blog, I had an outpouring of helpful hints from friends and family, and even from strangers who read my posts on WordPress. I am humbled by, and thankful for all of the suggestions. I see them as support for what I am doing, and people trying to be truly helpful.
To be sure, I cannot follow all of the advice. Everyone has their own approach to weight loss and increasing health. While I appreciate all suggestions, some just won’t work for me for one reason or another. Some, though, hit the mark and work very well for me. One such is setting SMART objectives for myself each week.
My niece is a Nurse Practitioner who spends much of her time helping people to live healthier lives and make better decisions. When she read my initial posts, she contacted me through email and told me about a method she uses with her patients. Each week the patients set SMART goals for themselves, and track them on a form specially designed for this purpose. If you are not familiar with the idea of a SMART goal, it is an acronym for:
Specific – the goal should be concrete, not vague and something easily defined.
Measurable – the results of the goal should have an objective measurement, so that success can be easily assessed.
Achievable – Setting a goal that is out of reach sets a person up for failure. Setting and reaching achievable goals helps build a pattern of success
Relevant – The goal has to mean something. Setting a goal that is too low, or meaningless does nothing to move a person forward. Reaching the goal should matter in some way
Time bound – A goal that is allowed to languish with no defined end is rarely reached. Putting a timeframe around it forces action and accountability.
If you are a reader of my other blog – Just some thoughts I have… then you know that I am a very goal-oriented person. I thrive in my personal and professional life when I have a defined goal to achieve. Because of that mindset, the idea of setting weekly, SMART goals appeals to me.
Starting this week I am going to be setting goals for the coming week. I plan to make them something that I can control, and they will be designed to either stretch something I have already achieved, or set me in a direction I haven’t previously gone. Also, I will use them to kick start me when I sense that I am stalling.
This week I have set 3 goals:
- Walk 35,000 steps while not at home. At work, or when I am out and about, I plan to walk 35,000 steps. I will measure this using the Fitbit. Last week I walked 22,800 steps, so this will represent a 50% increase.
- Climb 42 flights of stairs while at work. Again, I will measure this with the Fitbit. My office is on the second floor of my two-floor building. That means I am guaranteed to climb 10 in a week, assuming I eat in the first floor cafeteria. Last week I climbed a total of 28 floors, so again this is a 50% increase
- I will buy a pair of cross-trainer shoes. I want to have a pair of shoes to use in the gym that aren’t used out and about. This is a pre-cursor to future goals involving the use of my gym membership.
None of these 3 goals will set the world on fire, or solve any of my issues. But achieving them will help me gain some momentum on my health journey.
Check back next week! I will tell you how I did, and what my new goals are.