by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL
Welcome to 2016! How many of you have come up with resolutions to better your life for the future? Why not use your resolution this year to set goals to better your diabetes management and improve your overall health? SMART goals are used to help people take steps to achieve particular outcomes. People are more likely to work towards and achieve SMART goals simply by the way they are designed. Let’s look at an example:
“This year I will be more physically active”
Striving to increase your physical activity is good….but let’s take a look at making this goal a SMART goal. A SMART goal is
- Specific: Choose one thing you want to change, and include details
- Measureable: How much? How will you measure your progress?
- Achievable: Can you actually accomplish this goal? Is it within reason? Will you be able to do it?
- Realistic: Goals should be do-able. If goals are set too high, you are less likely to achieve what you have set out to do. Ask yourself if the goal is practical and is it important to you.
- Timely: Have a definitive timeline.
Now, let’s take a look again at our goal, except now we will make it a SMART goal:
“This year I will start being active by walking 20-30 minutes during my lunch hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next two weeks starting on Monday.”
Don’t forget to think about any concerns or possible roadblocks, and how you would handle it. If you find a goal you set just isn’t working out for you, you may need to adjust it. For example, if you set a goal of trying three new recipes a week for one month, but you find you are too busy to try all that new cooking and it is stressing you out, change the goal to one new recipe each week.
Managing diabetes is not always easy. Setting SMART goals can help make managing diabetes a little easier.