Setting SMART goals

Managing chronic pain and fatigue and restoring wellness is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle.  You need to find the right pieces and fit them back together in a way that works for you. If you try to do this without some sort of picture to guide you (e.g an integrative wellness plan) or try to do it all in one go you risk going around in circles and becoming a victim of the push-crash cycle.

Instead you need to PACE YOURSELF and set just a few SMART Goals at a time that are in line with your level of health and vitality. Dr. Amen writes setting  S.M.A.R.T. goals helps you stay focused and increases your chances of getting well. He provides explanation and some examples below.

Setting the right kind of goals can help you achieve those goals and reduce the risk of failure. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Specific: You have a better chance of achieving a specific goal rather than a vague goal. For example, “Drink a smoothie with protein powder, organic blueberries, and greens for breakfast instead of fast food” is a better goal than ‘Eat better.’

Measurable: When you can measure your goals, it is easier to know if you are on the right path to achieving them and lets you know when you have reached your goal. For example, ‘Go to the gym four times a week for 30 minutes each session’ is a better goal than ‘Get in shape.’

Attainable: Set short-term goals that you are capable of achieving. These short-term goals will help keep you motivated toward your long-term goals. Setting goals that are too lofty or long-term can be demotivating. For example, ‘Lose 100 pounds in one year’ sounds impossible. ‘Lose 2 pounds a week’ doesn’t sound so hard, but it will get you to that bigger goal.

When you give yourself attainable short-term goals, it makes it easier for you to believe in your ability to change. In order to change, you must believe in your ability to make it happen. If you don’t believe, you’ll never do it.

Realistic: Goals that are unrealistic set you up to feel like a failure. For example, ‘Run a marathon next month’ may be completely unrealistic if you have never run a single mile in your life. A realistic goal is one that you are both willing and able to achieve. If you really do want to participate in a race, your goal might be ‘Walk or run a 5K in three months.’ This gives you time to practice so you won’t injure yourself and improves your chances of successfully completing the event.

Timely: Goals that have no time frame lack urgency. Set a specific time frame, such as ‘by March 15′ or ‘starting TODAY’ to force you into action. – BRAIN FIT LIFE

Brain Fit Life

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