Model P31 Fit by Bridget McCray

Get S.M.A.R.T
with Your Goals 

So…it’s a new year. What are most of us inclined to do in January? Make a plethora of resolutions!

* “I’m going to lose 15 pounds this week!”
* “I’m going to drink a gallon of water a day!”
* “I’m going to go to the gym twice a day every day!”
* “I’m going to cut out all the salt in my diet!”

Do any of these declarations sound familiar? Of course, they do. Most of us have said one of these things, or at least, something similar. Right?

Then, what happens when:
* … we gain two pounds that week, instead of losing 15?
* … we end up barely drinking a bottle of water a day?
(You get the idea.)

We tend to give up, don’t we? What if we took a different approach, creating goals that set us up for success, instead of for failure? We can do just that by using S.M.A.R.T. goals!

(Image credit:

Let’s take one of the resolutions I mentioned earlier and turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal as described in the image:

Resolution: “I’m going to lose 15 pounds this week!”

This statement is specific (“15 pounds”), but there is no mention of its meaningfulness. There are no planned action steps stated, and it is not realistic (“15 pounds in one week”) though, it is timely (“this week”).

Side note: One pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories. In order to lose a pound, one could cut 500 calories a day from his or her diet, burn 500 calories a day with exercise, or do a combination of the two in order to achieve a safe and healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories or 1 pound)

After some necessary adjustments, let’s look at it again:

S.M.A.R.T. goal: “I’m going to lose one pound per week this month by creating a 500-calorie per day deficit through diet (decreasing by 200) and exercise (burning at least 300) in order to help lower my slightly-elevated blood pressure.”

This now meets the criteria of being a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It is:

Specific: “lose one pound per week this month”
Meaningful: “to help lower my slightly-elevated blood pressure”
Action-oriented: “creating a 500-calorie per day deficit”
Realistic: “lose one pound per week”
Timely: “lose one pound per week this month”

I hope that seeing this example helps you to understand how to turn your resolutions into something that helps you move toward success. I have been on my own wellness journey for almost five years and have used these beneficial principles. However, over the last couple of years, admittedly, I have lost my focus in a couple of areas.

That being said, I’m going to share a resolution of my own, in order to hold myself accountable to you, the reader: “I’m going to increase my stamina.” In my next article, I will show how I turned that into a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

I invite you to join me in this challenge. Will you revise your resolutions to make them S.M.A.R.T. goals? Just pick one, and go for it!

Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer

Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)
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