According to UAB Medicine, only 8% of people stick to their New Year’s resolution each year. This is because it can be challenging to know how to set goals that are easy to follow for the long term. However, when you follow a SMART action plan, you can start to accomplish anything you set your mind to!
What is a SMART Action Plan and How Does It Work?
The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. The first step in creating your goal is to narrow down how you can achieve it. For example, if you want to eat more vegetables, then the first part of your goal could be:
"I will eat more vegetables this week."
This also incorporates a timeline that lowers your chances of procrastinating. Starting small and creating a way to examine your process will be your next step. You can make your goal measurable by adding:
"I will add one cup of vegetables to three of my dinners this week."
This way you will easily keep track by knowing how many vegetables you’ll be adding to your meals! This can take away the stress of figuring out if you’re reaching your goal or not.
Is Your Goal Achievable?
Next, it’s critical to have your goal be achievable. Think about practical steps such as:
"I will go grocery shopping every Monday to ensure I have enough vegetables."
You can reach your goals when you are prepared for them. If you have a garden, consider growing vegetables. This can save money over time and can be a fun way to spend time outdoors. By using your SMART action plan, your goal can now be:
"I will eat more vegetables by adding one cup to my dinner three times a week. I will ensure I have a variety of vegetables by shopping every Monday.”
Lastly, don’t feel discouraged if you need to modify your goal! If you feel like it is too burdensome, then you can always reduce it! Goals will constantly change and grow into new plans.
More SMART Plan Examples
“I will go for a 30-minute walk two times a week for one month.”
“I will add one piece of fruit to my breakfast every day this week.”
“This week, I will drink one glass of water when I wake up in the morning.”
“This week, I will go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual.”
The Key Message
With SMART action plans you can accomplish your goals by taking small and realistic steps, even if you need to adjust when needed. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider discussing with your physician which plans you should work towards. Lastly, don’t forget that the Ellerca Health team is always ready to help you meet your goals!
“10 Secrets Of People Who Keep Their New Year’S Resolutions”. UAB Medicine, 2021, https://www.uabmedicine.org/-/10-secrets-of-people-who-keep-their-new-year-s-resolutions.
“Setting Goals Based On Your Dreams Can Help You Face Challenges And Make Changes In Your Life And Career. Learn How To Set SMART Goals.”. ALIS, 2021, https://alis.alberta.ca/plan-your-career/set-smart-goals.