How to Make Healthy and SMART Goals for 2012

Here we are starting another new year! This is the most popular time for motivation to change or revamp our lifestyles. This is also a great time to revisit our health and wellness habits and see what can be done to make a positive change.

Get SMART

How you set a goal can be detrimental to the success of accomplishing it. Being as specific as possible with each and every goal is very important. When setting your SMART goal, be sure to include each of the following components:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time frame

Here is an example of my SMART goal for 2012 that incorporates each of the components:

I am going to workout five days at home (Tuesday-Saturday) for 30 minutes each day rotating between cardiovascular activity and strength training.

Here is more information and specifics for setting your SMART Goals.

Being Prepared = Success

It can be confusing to figure out how and where to start to make a change. Regardless of what goal you want to accomplish, you need to do your homework and enlist some help. These resources can be online, in the community, a person or group of people or any combination of the above.

Online Resources: Whatever goal you are trying to accomplish, use the Internet as a tool. There are a ton of great, accredited resources out there to help you. Here are some that I found:

  • Smoking cessation: QuitNet, American Cancer Society — These feature online communities, resources and tools to quit smoking for good.
  • Weight loss: Choose My Plate, Spark People and Fit Day — These resources will help you determine how many calories you should consume and offer tools like an online journal that you can track your food intake and progress.
  • Fitness: Free Trainers, Workoutz — These provide videos and photos on how to properly perform a specific exercise. Remember to check with your physician before starting a workout routine.

Community Resources:

  • Hospitals
  • Health departments
  • Video rental stores (some of them provide free video rental for exercise videos)
  • Schools (ask if there are open gym hours)
  • Mall or grocery store (walk the perimeter while you shop or go in inclement weather)

People and Groups:

  • Coworker, neighbor, spouse, child, family member
  • Weight Watchers
  • Fitness classes
  • Local gyms
  • TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly)

If you have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network insurance, check with your plan to see what benefits you have under Blue Health Connection.

It can be overwhelming to make a change, and it takes about 21 days for a new habit to form or to get rid of a bad habit. I would suggest making one or two changes at a time and really accomplish them and feel comfortable with them before moving on to a new goal.

I love The Biggest Loser TV show. This season, the mantra is “no excuses.” Let’s make this the year to eliminate excuses and really accomplish what is in our hearts and minds. Here’s to a healthy and happy year!

What resources do you use to reach your health goals?

Photo credit: vandys

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