Setting Smart Goals for a Healthy Lifestyle

Have you ever spent a lot of time dreaming about something and then it came true? This happens because if the vision in the mind is clear, the energy and action necessary will follow. Specific goals turn into specific results at the end of the day.


This is why I ask my clients to take time to visualize their ideal health! We talk about what it would look like, feel like, habits that would be set, and of course the confidence it would give. If you can create a vision for your health you’ll find the path to get there.


Dream big, get crystal clear, and let that energy flow in creating the life of your dreams.

What is Goal Setting?

Experts define goal setting as the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve. Fair enough. That definition makes sense, but I think there is a much more useful way to think about setting goals.


However the real challenge is not determining if you want the result, but if you are willing to accept the lifestyle required to achieve your goal. Do you want the lifestyle that comes with your quest? Do you want the boring and ugly process that comes before the exciting and glamorous outcome?


It’s easy to sit around and think what we could do or what we’d like to do. It is an entirely different thing to accept the lifestyle that come with our goals. Everybody wants a gold medal. Few people want to train like an Olympian.


Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the path you are willing to take.


Why Set Goals?

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of the future into reality.


The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.


Top-level athletes and achievers in all fields all set goals. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.


By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. You will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set.


Stages of Behavior Change

The six stages of behavior change include: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. For each stage of change, different intervention strategies are most effective at moving the person to the next stage of change and subsequently through the model to maintenance, the ideal stage of behavior.

  1. Precontemplation – In this stage, people do not intend to take action in the foreseeable future (defined as within the next 6 months). People are often unaware that their behavior is problematic or produces negative consequences. People in this stage often underestimate the pros of changing behavior and place too much emphasis on the cons of changing behavior.

  2. Contemplation – In this stage, people are intending to start the healthy behavior in the foreseeable future (defined as within the next 6 months). People recognize that their behavior may be problematic, and a more thoughtful and practical consideration of the pros and cons of changing the behavior takes place, with equal emphasis placed on both. Even with this recognition, people may still feel ambivalent toward changing their behavior.
  3. Preparation (Determination) – In this stage, people are ready to take action within the next 30 days. People start to take small steps toward the behavior change, and they believe changing their behavior can lead to a healthier life.
  4. Action – In this stage, people have recently changed their behavior (defined as within the last 6 months) and intend to keep moving forward with that behavior change. People may exhibit this by modifying their problem behavior or acquiring new healthy behaviors.
  5. Maintenance – In this stage, people have sustained their behavior change for a while (defined as more than 6 months) and intend to maintain the behavior change going forward. People in this stage work to prevent relapse to earlier stages.

How to Set SMART Goals

A useful way of making your Health goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. SMART usually stands for:

  • S – Specific (or Significant).
  • M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

Goal setting is an important method for:

  • Deciding what you want to achieve in your health.
  • Separating what’s important from what’s irrelevant, or a distraction.
  • Motivating yourself.
  • Building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals.

Set your longterm goals first. Then, set smaller goals that you need to complete if you are to reach your longterm plan. Keep the process going by regularly reviewing and updating your goals. And remember to take time to enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your goals when you do so.



Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?

If you don’t already set health goals, do so, starting now. As you make this technique part of your lifestyle, you’ll find your life more fullfilling!

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