Set S.M.A.R.T. Wellness Goals
Setting and pursuing wellness goals is a great way to improve your health and well-being. Goals serve as a guide to achieve something you desire. A simple goal might state:
- I will get more sleep.
S.M.A.R.T. goals include details that can help you plan how you will reach your goal within a time-frame, and measure your accomplishments.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound
- Specific – the goal specifies Who will do What? When? Where? And Why?
For example: I will go to bed every night at 10 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m. starting this Monday so that I can be more alert each day.
- Measurable – the goal is measurable. The sleep goal has at least two possible metrics:
- - How many days per week is the sleep time kept?
- - How alert do you feel on a scale from 1-5 each day?
- Achievable – the goal is possible to achieve. It is helpful to set goals just beyond reach so that you stretch forward accomplish them.
- - The sleep goal could be very hard to accomplish for someone whose bedtime and waking time varies daily. A better goal in that case might reflect attaining a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. sleep time 4 of 7 days per week for the next four weeks. Once this goal is met, another goal can be set for 5 or 6 days per week.
- Relevant – the goal takes into consideration what is going on in your life now.
For example: It may be that you have a night class from 5 - 8 p.m.. A 10 p.m. bedtime may not provide enough time to get home from class, eat, visit, and do homework. A more relevant goal might be to sleep from midnight to 8 a.m..
- Time-bound – the goal states when you will have completed the goal, or when you will do the tasks you have assigned yourself.
- - The sleep goal starts on Monday. Another way to incorporate time into the sleep goal would be: By the end of the semester, I will consistently go to bed at 10 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m. at least five days per week, so that I can be more alert.
Steps to set S.M.A.R.T. wellness goals:
- Determine what aspects of wellness you would like to focus on at this time.
- Explore your preferred wellness topics on the Wellness @ ASU website to get ideas of how to make improvements in your wellness.
- Decide what actions or wellness habits you would like to change.
- Write out your goals, using the S.M.A.R.T. goal guidelines, above.
- Write a list of the actions you will take to accomplish your goal.
Sample S.M.A.R.T. wellness goals:
- I will join an intramurals team this semester at ASU to have fun while being active. Actions:
- Go to the Intramurals webpage to learn how to sign up.
- Sign up
- Go to practice
- Play games and have fun!
- I will go meatless for all meals not matter where I eat a minimum of three days per week for the next four weeks to help lower my cholesterol levels. Actions:
- - Plan ahead which days each week to go meatless.
- - Review how to include high protein foods that are plant-based.
- - When eating prepared foods, read the label or ask the server what is in the recipe.
- I will always use a light when riding my bike at night, starting today.
- - Research a buy a light for my bike and/or my helmet.