Building healthy habits can be challenging. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to fall back into old routines. Setting S.M.A.R.T goals can help set you on the path to success.

S.M.A.R.T goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Keep these guidelines in mind as you start to create an action plan to improve your health.

S = Specific

Define exactly what you want to accomplish. Goals like ‘eating healthier’ are too general. Break it down to a specific action like ‘adding vegetables at dinner’ or ‘swapping white bread for whole grain bread.’

M = Measurable

How will you track your progress? Set specific criteria like a daily step count or journal entries to measure your success.

A = Attainable

Make your goal challenging but not impossible. For example, running a marathon may not be realistic for a lot of people. Instead, you might want to aim for a 5K race, or work up to running a mile.

R = Relevant

Choose a goal that is meaningful to you. It’s more motivating to work towards something aligned with your long-term vision or personal values.

T = Time-bound

Set a timeline for your goal with a clear start and end date. You can always adjust it along the way.

It’s your turn!

Take a moment to write down a few S.M.A.R.T goals to help you on your healthy habits journey. Here are some examples to help guide you:

  • I will walk around my neighborhood for 30 minutes every morning this week.
  • I will try a new dinner recipe with whole grains (such as brown rice or quinoa) this week.