New Month * New Goals * New You!
Can you believe July is gone and we are already in the month of August? This is a great time to evaluate your life this past 8 months , examine where you are, and where you want to go.
Often my patients have a lot of goals but no actual plans in place of how they will achieve them. My advice is to start by writing out your long term goals and the date by which you want to accomplish them. Then set benchmarks for each month/week up until the goal date. The last part requires the most planning ~ your daily routine.
The secret to long term success in anything is found in the daily, repetitive, and sometimes mundane habits that we must establish. I refer to these as SMART objectives (the Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-oriented actions you take to hit your goals).
It’s not enough to say, “I want to lose 30 pounds by November”. Yes, that is your goal, but HOW SPECIFICALLY will you accomplish it? Here is an example of a SMART objective you could focus on to achieve that particular goal: “I will run 3 miles at a 9 minute/mile pace 4 days per week for the entire month of August”.
Is this objective specific? Yes, the activity is clearly defined. Is it measurable? Yes, both the distance and pace can be measured. Is it achievable? Well, for me personally it would be, but you would need to assess your own ability to run a 9 minute mile! Is it realistic? Yes, most people can build up to a 3 mile run within a 30 minute time frame. Finally, is it time-oriented? Yes, with both the duration of the activity and the number of times per week specified.
This is how we achieve goals! So grab a piece of paper and start writing out YOUR goals today. List at least 2 goals you have for this month and 3 SMART ways you plan to achieve each one. At the end of each week, evaluate where you are and make adjustments where necessary.
Remember, it is truly not about willpower ~ it is about planning and preparation.
Have a great month!
Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner