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Setting SMART goals for health

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You have the best intentions, but somehow you always mess up. Have you ever thought about why? Beating yourself up over past failures isn’t going to get you anywhere, instead you need a proven strategy for making healthy changes.

How do I make lifestyle changes for good?

The secret to real weight loss is not willpower, in fact willpower will only last as long as we aren’t ever tired, stressed, hungry, around other people, around tempting food etc. The key to change in the long run is habits, what we do when we are running on autopilot.

To break the cycle of bad habits, you need to set goals of what you want, why you want it, and which good habits you are going to use to replace the unhelpful habits. These need to be in plav for long enough that they become second nature, and willpower doesn’t need to be relied on.

Goal setting doesn’t work unless you come up with a detailed plan that covers all the bases, and the most effective way to do this is to set “SMART” goals.

SMART goals:

S- Specific:           Walk three days a week (not “exercise more”)
M- Measurable:     Logging this in an exercise diary
A- Achievable:      Three days a week, (not three times a day).
R- Realistic:          For 20 minutes each time (not 5 hours)
T- Time limited:    For the next month.

A clear, directed, and achievable goal makes us feel motivated and excited! It’s a goal you decided on yourself for your reasons, not because of outside pressures.

Now it’s up to you:

What are three habits (no matter how small) that you could change this week, that would make a big difference?


I will replace my afternoon cake or biscuits with a piece of fresh fruit every day except Fridays for the next month, and will log this in my health journal.

I will reduce the sugar in my coffee by half a teaspoon each week for a month, until I am having no more than three teaspoons in a day.

I will commit to one 60 minute afternoon boot camp workout a week for the next 8 weeks, and will sign up with a friend so we make each other accountable for not going.


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