Floyd Valley Healthcare’s social worker Jo Will, LMSW, CSW, appreciates the thought of people making health-related goals for the New Year, but stresses the goals must be realistic. Most people chose to approach a new year with a fresh start, but they can quickly go overboard in setting goals. If goals are not met, people feel defeated and give up all together. Will encourages people to set just a few goals, put them on your schedule and check on your progress regularly.
An acronym that can be used on a heath journey is SMART. While working towards setting goals, make sure they are:
- Specific – What do you want accomplish? Why is that important to you?
- Measurable – Put some numbers to your goals, for example: I will walk 1 mile 3 twice a week. When you have mastered that, add a day.
- Achievable – Don’t look at the end goal as that may be too lofty. Instead, focus on the process including the steps it will take to get you to that goal and take the first step.
- Relevant – Why is this the right time to focus on this goal?
- Time Bound – People generally work better with deadlines as it motivates us to accomplish goals. Another suggestion she has is to add your goals to your calendar just like you would for other appointments.
Will points out that we are the hardest on ourselves; so being flexible, understanding and gracious with yourself will be key to your success. Consider the areas of improvement that are the most important to you in setting your goals. Setting a few goals is helpful for a healthier year, but consider how you want to get healthier and make it a priority. Will says, “You are worth it!”
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