SMART goals stand for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Let's take a look at each part of this and why it's important.
S-Specific: Specific goals have a greater chance of being accomplished than general goals. Answer the questions when, what, where, why and how to make sure that you have covered your bases.
M-Measurable: Goals are accomplished by being able to see and/or measure the outcome. Saying you want to lose weight won't leave you feeling very successful even after dropping 10 pounds. However, stating that you want to lose 10 pounds and then weighing once a week will allow you to make small steps toward that goal.
A-Attainable: Creating a goal that is important to you in your life will create the right attitude and determination to achieve that goal. Don't choose to lose weight because your mother mentioned it to you unless you are vested in it as well.
R-Realistic: Understand what results are typical or logical for your goal and timeline. Thinking that you can lose 50 pounds in 1 month is an unrealistic goal that will leave you feeling unsuccessful. Choose a challenging goal for you, but one that can be accomplished.
T-Timely: Set a timeline for your goals. Give yourself a realistic timeline, but one that you think you can stick to.
Goal: Get in shape this year.
SMART Goal: Lose 15 pounds in the next 6 months, by consuming a diet focusing on low-processed foods and working out with a personal trainer 2-3 times per week.
Remember, you can set smaller goals inside of a larger goal, but keep them SMART.
Here's to a happy, healthy 2015!