Thursday, May 30, 2013

Guest Post: Use Smart Goals

I was recently contacted by Michelle Pino. Michelle has recently taken an interest in what inspires others to live a healthy lifestyle.  With her knowledge of health and wellness, people tend to ask her what she does to stay healthy, so she figured a guest post on my blog would be a great opportunity to share her knowledge with others. 
 
To Michelle, the daily stresses and life’s challenges make it so important to make health a priority and inspire us to treat our body right. That motivation morphed into habit once she knew how great taking care of herself felt! Here are some tips she would like to share with you:
 
Use SMART Goals To Get Healthy

In these contemporary times, the health industries are booming as more and more people seek out products and services that will help them optimize wellness. Despite this fact, however, many people find themselves falling into health ruts that preclude them from quitting bad habits or maintaining their health and fitness regimens. Some of the challenges people in health ruts may face are a fear of failure, difficulty adjusting to lifestyle changes, and lowered self-esteem resulting from an inability to meet goals. In order to overcome these challenges, you can greatly benefit from creating the SMART goal outlined below:  

Specific
This first word emphasizes your need to ensure that your goal is clear. To make your goal clear or specific, make sure that it addresses questions like: "What am I trying to accomplish?" and "Where will I complete it?"

Measurable
This second word represents your need to develop clear criteria that enables you to measure your progress as you work towards your goal. The thought behind establishing a measurable goal is simple: If your goal is not measurable, you have no objective criteria through which to determine whether your current activity is contributing to or detracting from you accomplishing the goal. To determine whether your goal is measurable, ask yourself if it answers questions like How much? and How will I know when it is accomplished?  

Attainable
This third word represents the importance of ensuring that your goal is realistic. This does not mean that the goal doesn't involve work. Indeed, it can require that you work hard to achieve it. At the same time, however, it should not be too extreme. Once you establish an attainable goal, you enable yourself to cultivate the abilities, financial stability, skills, and attitudes necessary to accomplish it.

Relevant
The fourth word highlights the fact that your goal has to matter. An example of a goal that couldn't meet this criteria when one is trying to lose ten pounds would be "I'm going to study three hours each week to bring up my Chemistry grade." While this goal is specific, measurable, and attainable, it is at best only tangentially related to the task of losing ten pounds. To determine the relevance of your goal, make sure that it can answer yes to questions like "Does this seem worthwhile?" and "Is this the right time?"

Time-bound
The fifth word emphasizes the importance of giving your goal a target date. For example, if you decide to eliminate french fries from your diet, will you begin abstaining from the food in one week or will you gradually decrease your consumption of the nutritionally void item over the course of a month? Making your goal time-bound is important and effective because doing so enables you to focus on completing the goal either before or on the established due date.


Although many people have challenges establishing and completing health-related goals, using the SMART goal guide can help turn your dream of being healthy into reality.

May is National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, which makes for a great time to get out and get motivated! Try creating your own inspiration board to help get on track. Use images and quotes that inspire you to live a healthier, better life.


Photos:
1.) Yoga focuses the mind and body, teaching ourselves to find a spiritual balance.  I also love that yoga can be done anywhere, even the beach! The beach is so relaxing, a great place for yoga or walking. (Source: Yoga Class)
2.) Love this quote; so simple but so true! Source: Eatthewords
3.) Last spring I started learning more about gardening.  I enjoy the being in the garden and watching blooms take life as the warmer weather approached. Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers, plus the smell wonderful! (Source: Lilac Flowers)
4.) I’ve started to golf as a way to spend more time outdoors. The resort near my work is a great option because I go with a big group, half of us can do nine holes and then go grab a bite at one of restaurants of the resort, and the rest of the group can golf the full eighteen holes. (Source: Turning Stone Resort)
5.) Eating poorly is taking an effect on my energy levels during the day. I’m looking to experiment with healthy recipes and swapping bad snacks for healthier options. There was a short article on which gave some great options for healthy snacks. (Source: Real Simple)

As you move towards your target, your goals may change or expand.  Take time to update your fitspiration board whenever it feels out of alignment with your aspirations.  Make sure what is on the board is what you really want.  Taking the time to create and maintain a fitspiration board is a fun yet powerful way to keep you motivated on the path towards the fit lifestyle you’re yearning for.  

Thank you, Michelle for sharing these tips! If you would like to contact Michelle personally, you may do so by emailing her at PinoMichM@gmail.com.

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