THE spartan shops
FOOD & NUTRITION BLOG
I often have friends come and ask me for nutrition advice once I tell them I am a nutrition major. Most people usually have an idea about what they would like to improve in their lives, whether it be weight loss, building muscle, or eating healthier on a busy schedule. Despite a great idea, without proper goal setting, most people don’t realize they set sail on a sinking ship. Then the discouragement sets in and people give up.
But it certainly doesn’t have to be this way! I’m going to show you a real simple acronym that can help you set goals called SMART goals. Here’s the breakdown:
This is fundamental. Your goal has to be simple and answer 3 main questions: what, why and how. Clearly define WHAT you plan to do, WHY you are doing it, and HOW you are going to accomplish it. This will be your foundation for which you will build the other components of your SMART goal.
How will you know you accomplished the goal unless you set a way to measure it? Creating a goal with a tangible way to measure the task will ensure there is evidence to show you reached your goal!
How many times have you made far-reaching, ambitious goals...only to fail completely at them? Happens to the best of us. Goals MUST be achievable. If you make it too hard, you’ll lack motivation to start or motivation to finish if you’ve started. Take baby baby steps in the right direction and soon, you’ll surprise yourself by how much you’ve accomplished over time!
It’s important to choose goals that are relevant to what you actually want to accomplish. Tasks that lack relevance to your goal won’t take you very far.
Goals need to have a timeline or due date. If it doesn’t, there really isn’t much incentive or pressure to move forward at a quicker pace. Imagine if homework didn’t have a due date. No one would ever do it!
Let’s look at an example that will really help to solidify this concept:
Let’s say you want to eat out less.
Okay, so your goal is: EAT OUT LESS. As it stands right now, this goal doesn’t sound very smart. Let’s make some improvements by taking it through the SMART goal categories, shall we?
SPECIFIC: Answers what, why, and how.
I want to eat out less by packing a homemade lunch because I want to save money and eat healthier.
What: Eat out less
Why: To eat healthier and save money
How: Making homemade lunch
We can measure this goal by adding a tangible way to show we have met this goal.
I want to eat out less by packing a homemade lunch 3 x a week because I want to save money and eat healthier.
Now, the goal is measureable by adding the time-stamp of 3 days a week. You either made lunch 3 days a week, or you didn’t.
How attainable is this goal? What are ways to make this goal more attainable? If you want to make homemade lunches to bring to work or school, you’ll have to set yourself up for success. That means taking the time to go out and purchase food to make the sandwiches and store it in your fridge. Perhaps, it also means making food ahead of time so you can just grab and go in the morning. Or maybe you can pack leftover food from the night before? The possibilities are endless, but you do need to be realistic if you’re the type of person who eats out everyday. Making lunch 3 x a week at home is quite a challenge for someone who eats out at almost every meal!
You want to eat out less so you’re packing meals at home to take for lunch. Since this goal is relevant to your target, I would say it hits this category straight on.
When will this goal start? When will it end? We need to make it super specific to get the results we want.
Starting September 1st until the end of the month, I want to eat out less by packing a homemade lunch 3 x a week because I want to save money and eat healthier.
Now, we can start on this SMART goal and start accomplishing what we set out to do!
For more examples of nutrition-related SMART goals explore these links:
SMART goal examples
SMART goals for Nutrition
SMART goals for Physical Activity