Goals should be SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time frame.
If you set yourself a general goal like “to get fit,” it’s hard to know where to start and you might have trouble keeping yourself motivated. Instead, make your goal specific, like “to go for a 30 minute walk every day.” Then you know exactly what needs to be accomplished.
Give yourself a way to measure when you’ve achieved your goal. By measuring each step along the way to a larger goal, you know how far you’ve come and how much farther you have to go. An example of a measurable goal is “to run five kilometres in 30 minutes.”
Make sure you’re physically capable of achieving the goal you set. Let’s say your goal is “to train for a 42-kilometre marathon within eight weeks.” If you can only run five kilometres right now, your goal may not be attainable.
Your goal should be based on the realities of your circumstances and lifestyle, as well as the budget, support and tools you have available. For example, keep in mind that your goal may require a good pair of running shoes, someone to baby-sit your children or payment for a program. Make your timelines realistic. Set short-term goals (for example, “to climb 10 stairs three times a day”) and some long-term goals (for example, “to train for a five kilometre race in four months”).
Set a reasonable deadline for when you’d like to achieve your goal. Start by setting one or two long-term goals, then break them down into monthly, weekly and daily goals. Be sure to set a specific end date. Keep your goals simple and always have a new goal ready for when you achieve your current goal. This gives you something to work toward and helps you stay on track.
For more information, visit http://healthlinkbc.ca.