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Making SMART Health Goals for the New Year

By Expert HERWriter
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have SMART health goals for this New Year Lev Dolgachov/PhotoSpin

Do you want to achieve your health goals during 2014? There are three things that you need in your tool-kit to be successful.

1) You must be committed to your goal.
You must have a desire to achieve your goal. Desire is what gets you through the tough moments when you want to give up on your goals.

2) You must create the healthy habits to maintain your goal.

3) Finally, and arguable the most important, you must set SMART goals.

SMART goals have become popular in goal setting for work and business. SMART goals can be used to hit any type of target. They are very successful for matters of health too.

SMART is an acronym for all the characteristics that each goal you set should have. SMART goals have the following characteristics. They are:

Each goal should be specific or well defined. Vague goals do not give you a specific focus.

Measurable times, dates and amounts should be associated with each goal.

Make sure it is possible to achieve the goal. At the same time, each goal should not be too easy. Your goals should be a stretch, but still possible.

Each goal should be relevant to where you want to go. It should have direct impact to move you towards your goal.

Each goal should have an end time associated with it, a time when you plan to have accomplished what you set out to do.

Here are some examples of SMART goals as suggested by BeWell@Stanford at Stanford University:

"Specific – I will increase my running mileage by 10% each week.

"Measureable – I will keep track of my running distance each day so I can track my progress towards my goal.

"Attainable – Is the goal attainable for me? Yes, given my current schedule and my desire to accomplish this goal, I feel that this is attainable.

"Realistic – Is the goal realistic for me? Yes, I have everything I need to make this goal a reality. I have the support and resources in place.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.