SMART GOALS: Set yourself up for success by setting simple and achievable goals
Written by Alexis Ordelheide PT, DPT, CMTPT
After developing a better understanding of your chronic pain and learning that motion is lotion, you have decided to take action. But where do you start? We understand that it can be a daunting feeling to start a new program and we are here to help. In 1981, George T. Doran developed the acronym, SMART goals. By using SMART, you will create goals that are specific to you and achievable, setting yourself up for success.
S-specific goals. Start by making a goal that is simple, sensible, but will make a significant impact in your life. Ask yourself WHAT, WHY, and HOW?
What do I want to accomplish?
I want to be able to walk around the block.
Why is this goal important to me?
To gain more independence.
How are you going to do it?
I am going to start walking 5 minutes each day to build up my endurance.
M-measurable goals. Make a goal that is meaningful to you. If your goal is something that you truly want to achieve, you will be more likely to stick to it. By setting measurable goals, you will begin to see the progress you are making and will help keep you on track to achieve your goals.
How do I know when I accomplished this?
I will walk for 5 minutes each day for 1 week and increase my time by 2-3 minutes each week until I can walk around the block. I will keep a record of my walking time in my exercise log sheet
A-attainable goals. To set yourself up for success, your goals must be attainable. Do not set goals that you cannot achieve to prevent you from becoming discouraged. Your goals should be challenging to push you but not out of reach.
Think of walking around the block versus running around the block. Have you been a runner in the past? If not, start with walking.
R-realistic goals. When developing your goals make sure they are reasonable, you have the resources to complete, and able to see the results.
Will this goal get you closer to your main objective?
Do you have the resources? Walking shoes, walking poles, or a stopwatch to measure your time?
T-Time bound. Every goal needs a time frame. By doing this, you will become more accountable and more likely to stick to the plan.
I want to be able to walk around the block within 6 weeks.
Always remember this is a process. Imagine a Toblerone candy bar. You will have ups and downs but as long as you keep your eye on the prize, you will succeed. We are here to help along the way.