Outsmart Your Diabetes by Setting SMART Goals
A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise changes a reality, consider turning them into SMART goals.
A goal gives you something to aim for. SMART goals tell you exactly where you are going, how and when you will get there, and why the effort is worth your while.
“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable,” wrote the philosopher Seneca. No doubt, Seneca would endorse the idea of SMART goals: those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-oriented.
Specific. Goals should be written in simple, clear terms that define exactly what you are going to do. For example:
“I’m going to lose 12 pounds” (instead of “lose some weight”).
Measurable. Goals, and steps toward goals, need to be measurable so you know when you have completed one. For example: “I will walk for 20 minutes three mornings per week for two months; then 20 minutes five mornings per week.”
Attainable. Goals must be achievable; they should be challenging but within reach. For example:
“I will lose at least 2 lbs per month.”
Relevant. Goals are motivating when tied to something that you value. For example:
“I want to lose weight to manage my blood sugar and prevent health complications, and so I have more energy to play with the kids/grandkids.”
Time-oriented. Goals are most helpful when linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency, otherwise known as a deadline. For example:
“I will lose 12 pounds by Oct. 1, six months from now and before my next Continue reading