It’s that time of year again, yes time for those well-intentioned resolutions. I want to lose 50 pounds. I am going to quit smoking. I am going to be healthier. I am going to save money. We hear these time and time again, and we all know how frustrating it is when we don’t meet our goals. So, let’s talk about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, and Timely).

Let’s look at the goal of “Being Healthier” as an example. What does that even mean? Eating more vegetables, exercising more, watching less TV, or reducing stress?

If your goal is Specific and well defined you know exactly what you want to do. “I am going to eat three servings of vegetables a day and exercise a minimum of three times a week.” If your goal is Measurable, you will know when you are successful. How will you measure “getting healthy”? That means something different to each individual person. Will you measure it when your blood pressure is at a certain number? When you can run a 5K? Is your goal Agreed Upon by your partner, children, friends, etc. It helps to have people on board and supporting you along the way. Realistic is my favorite one! Don’t set yourself up for failure. If your goal is so huge that you don’t even know where to start, you won’t start. If you don’t have time to exercise every day or the willpower to stop drinking soda, then don’t make that the goal! Last is Timely. It helps to break goals down by weeks or months rather than the whole year. There will be days or even weeks when life happens and you get off track. It helps if you can look back and see that you were able to be successful for five weeks. Try setting mini goals to help you reach your big goal.

Good luck and happy goal setting!

Submitted by: Annie Lupo-Gondwe at the Burnett County Family Resource Center

We here at Healthy Burnett made a resolution of our own and we made it for YOU! We resolve to communicate with the people in our community. As a part of that effort we’ll be bringing you a new column each week so look for us here each week for the “Healthy Minute” or at healthyburnett.org.