Setting SMART Weight Management Goals

Setting SMART weight management goals will set you up for success. Goals are a valuable tool. They will give you a sense of direction and provide a standard to measure your results against. Goals can also help you to break up intimidating behavior changes into small, achievable steps.

Setting SMART goals is simple

Specific means that the goal should be explicit about what you will do, when you will do it, and where you will do it. This allows you to visualize exactly how you will accomplish your goal.

Measureable means that there is a way to measure your success built into the goal. For example, how often and how much physical activity will you do?

Attainable means you can really achieve the goal. If you have never run a day in your life, your goal should probably not be to run a marathon. A more attainable goal would be to run a shorter distance, such as a 5K. Setting goals that you can attain will prevent discouragement and keep you motivated to make progress.

Realistic signifies that the goal is practical given your resources and willingness. If you hate the gym, setting a goal of going five days a week may not be realistic. A better goal might be to do an exercise video or go for a hike.

Timely addresses when you will start and when you will reach your goal, which will keep you on task and inspired because it gives the goal an endpoint.

Setting achievable goals

  • Start with an Attainable goal: "I will exercise every day."
  • Now make it Realistic: "I will exercise 5 days a week."
  • Specific: "Starting today, I will walk my dog after dinner."
  • Measurable: "Starting today, I will walk my dog after dinner for 30 minutes at a quick pace."
  • Timely: "Starting today, I will walk my dog after dinner for 30 minutes at a quick pace, and will do it 5 times in the next week."