Getting SMARTER With Your Health Goals – Episode 03 – Be Your Best Self Health Chats
Author:Kristin Longacre

July 20, 2021

Let’s talk about goals, specifically setting health goals. I’m only about a year into the health coaching world, but I am almost 8 years into the health world from the other side. As someone who has lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, and finally started to LEARN what her body approves of and doesn’t approve of my goals have been all over the place.

Maybe you’re just getting started with your healthy lifestyle, maybe you’ve been in it for a while, or maybe you are trying to climb out of the diet culture that social media tends to throw us into.

Regardless, goal setting is part of your journey. I will be honest that if you are serious about changing your habits simply saying “I want to eat better” is not the greatest of goals. We’re going to dig much deeper than that in today’s podcast.

Why is setting goals in your health so important?

 

Topics Covered:

  • What is a goal?
  • What makes a goal SMART?
  • What is a SMARTER Goal?
  • How to adapt your goals to be SMARTER!

Full Transcript:

Welcome to Be Your Best Self Health Chats, weekly casual conversations about taking health into your own hands. I am your host, Kristin Longacre.

This week we are going to talk about goals, specifically setting health goals. I’m only about a year into the health coaching world, but I am almost 8 years into the health world from the other side. As someone who has lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight, and finally started to LEARN what her body approves of and doesn’t approve of my goals have been all over the place.

Maybe you’re just getting started with your healthy lifestyle, maybe you’ve been in it for a while, or maybe you are trying to climb out of the diet culture that social media tends to throw us into.

Regardless, goal setting is part of your journey. I will be honest that if you are serious about changing your habits simply saying “I want to eat better” is not the greatest of goals. We’re going to dig much deeper than that in today’s podcast.

Why is setting goals in your health so important?

It’s easy to say “I want to lose 10lbs by x date” but we live in a world filled with temptations. Fast food on every corner, dueling coffee shops in cities, cheap junk food, and expensive whole food. When you are looking to change your health for the better, it is not an easy or overnight process to begin with.

Without setting actual goals for your health it’s easy to make those excuses, oh my morning coffee is still good, small fries here and there, etc. Yet so often I see people end up disappointed that they couldn’t hit that number on the scale.

According to the Oxford dictionary, a goal is defined as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.”

Therefore, setting goals within your health can help you get to that desired result. Especially if these goals are set in a way that will set you up for success.

Let’s get into more detail about how to set goals.

Maybe you’ve heard of SMART goals before, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Based.

We’re going to take that a step further. One of my mentors from the Health Mindset Coaches Certification, Kasey Jo, introduced me to smartER Goals, which takes SMART goals a step further… Specific, Measurable, Additive, Rewarding, Timely, Efficacy, Relative.

Let’s break each step down a little more.

Specific. It’s important to get specific with your goals. By getting specific you can come up with a better plan to reach your end result.

Measurable. By making your goals measurable you are able to see your progress as you go. One thing I have found time and time again is that seeing the progress being made is what helps get through the bad days. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve wanted to give up on my goals until I’ve looked back and seen how far I’ve come.

Additive. This is where we veer off of the original SMART goals. Instead of attainable we’re going to look at what can be added or improved to your lifestyle that will help you with this goal. In my style of nutrition coaching, I don’t like being restrictive and this is one of those cases. What are you adding in to help you achieve your goal? Instead of saying “I’m not going to get the fancy coffee,” look at adding in hard-boiled eggs or some veggie bites to go along with it. See? We don’t restrict but we ADD something that helps with your long-term goal.

Rewarding. Goals should be rewarding and have PERSONAL meaning and be valuable to you, not someone else… YOU! If it doesn’t have meaning to you, you are less likely to actually focus on it, therefore you are less likely to hit it.

Timely. Goals may or may not always have a long-term timeline. However, to achieve whatever your long-term goals are, you can always set little timelines to go along with them. For example, if your ultimate goal is to spend the next year focusing on your health, break it down into little, more manageable chunks and look at your goals month to month or maybe a quarter to quarter.

Such as “this month I’m going to focus on adding more vegetables into my lunch, then next month I will focus on exercising 3x a week.” You are giving yourself a clear-cut timeline to achieve those goals.

Efficacy. By definition, efficacy means ‘the ability to produce the long term result.’ In the case of your goals, they should be setting you up for long-term success. In other words, your goals should be realistic and something you believe that you can achieve.

Relative. Look at your goals from where you are right now and where you want to go. Does it make sense for your lifestyle and the plans you have coming up?

Going back to the original goal I suggested of “I want to lose 10lbs” let’s take that and turn it into a SMARTER goal. Instead of just saying “my goal is to lose 10lbs”, a SMARTER goal would look like “My goal is to lose 10lbs over the next 3 months to help my clothes fit better by improving the quality of food I consume and exercising 4x a week ”

Getting specific is losing the 10lbs. The weight is measurable. Exercise is being added in. The reward is clothing fitting better. Our timeline is 3 months. Efficacy is building the food and exercise habits for long-term success. It’s relative because it’s a realistic timeline with realistic expectations. 

Notice how the goal suddenly sounds so much more achievable? Instead of someone setting no timeline on when they want that 10lbs gone, they now have a schedule, a realistic timeline, a reason, and more.

Does it make sense to use SMARTER Goals in every situation? Probably not. However, when you are getting ready to make big adjustments to the habits in your life for your health it is a very helpful tool to use. Truthfully, the way you set your goals can be the difference between success in achieving them and never actually having your end result see the light of day.

Your challenge this week is to take some time and set a SMARTER goal. How does it make you feel? Does it feel more achievable?

To see all of the notes from today or share any thoughts you have, please visit podcast.bestselfhealthcoaching.com.

Make sure to subscribe to our podcast so you can get our weekly chats directly on your favorite app. We will see you back here next Tuesday. 

 

ABOUT ME

Hey There, I’m Kristin! I have a strong passion for helping women make small changes in their everyday lives that add up to the healthy life they desire. Whether it’s a mom looking to find her confidence or a family who needs help making changes in the kitchen I believe every health goal can be accomplished.

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