We’ve covered a lot of information throughout this learning series so far. If you’ve made it this far, CONGRATULATIONS! Taking the time to read through all of this information shows incredible dedication to improving your health and is the first step toward making a noticeable change. Give yourself some credit for making it this far!
Now that you have the knowledge, it’s important to think about what factors are going to be most important to you and your unique situation. Think about your lifestyle, what your biggest barriers are, and what resources and skills you have available to you. Thinking through that information can help you to come up with those SMART goals that can increase long-term success. To review, SMART goals are those that are:
Relevant to your big picture goals
Will your goal be related to nutrition, physical activity, stress, or sleep? How will you hold yourself accountable to that goal? Will you use some form of habit tracking, have an accountability buddy, plan things out on a calendar, or use another method?
You set two goals for yourself way back in the Introduction section. Look back at those goals now. Is there anything you’d modify about your goal? How can you break those goals down into more manageable parts? For example, if your goal is to decrease your A1c, what SMART goals can you utilize to move towards that larger goal of an improved A1c value?
Once you’ve decided on a goal to get started, write down your goal and keep it where you’ll be reminded of it daily. This could be in your planner or calendar, on your phone or computer, or even taped to your mirror. When something is out of sight, it’s easy to forget about it, so position your goal where you’re be reminded of it regularly to help with accountability.
While it can be tempting to try to tackle every little thing all at once, try to avoid that desire! Taking on too much at once can actually lead to less success in the long run. It’s better to stick to one or two small goals at a time, do those things really well until they become a new habit, and then build up from there.
It’s also important to be flexible and give yourself some grace as you’re learning what things do or don’t work for you. Not making progress with your goal? Consider stepping back and either making a smaller goal or pivoting to a different goal for a period of time until you’re ready to come back to this one. Being flexible and open to continually learning helps you to be prepared for anything that comes your way.
Next: Long-Term Progress