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What is a SMART goal?

MAC Nutrition Team - Sunday, December 01, 2019

With the New Year right around the corner, a lot of people are making resolutions and setting goals. So, this is a good time to discuss what a SMART goal is.

SMART goals are:

Specific: What exactly do you want to do? Get as detailed as possible. Instead of “I will eat healthier,” choose a specific area of nutrition to focus on, such as eating less added sugar. Plan out the steps you can take to make this more likely to occur, such as getting your family on board, reading labels carefully, and planning out your sweet treats at the beginning of the day or week.

Measurable: You must have a way to tell if you are achieving your goal or not. For this reason, it must be measurable. Rather than “I will eat less sugar,” put a number on it, such as “I will eat 30g or less of added sugar per day.” And then, the truly important part is: you have to actually measure your intake each day! Keep track of it so that you have objective data on what you’re doing.

Attainable: The goal must be within reach, or else it will feel impossible and you’ll give up. This is why “30g or less of added sugar per day” is a better goal than “I’m cutting out sugar completely.” If you try to cut it out completely, all you will want is sugar and the goal might end up backfiring. A goal like 30g or less of added sugar per day is a challenge but doable.

Relevant: For you to feel motivated to achieve your goal, it must make sense within the broader context of your life and what you are trying to achieve overall. Why are you trying to reduce added sugar? What will this do for you? If changing your eating habits has nothing to do with your broader goals, then reducing added sugar might not be relevant to you. However, if you are trying to change your body composition or improve your lab values, reducing added sugar may be very pertinent to your situation.

Time-bound: By when will you reach this goal? If your goal doesn’t include a target in time, chances are you won’t do it. Try: “by March 15, I will be consistently eating 30g or less of added sugar per day five days per week.” This will give you a concrete deadline.

This New Year, make your goals SMART to increase your chances of success!

Contact MAC Nutrition today with questions!