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How SMART Goals Can Help You Change This 2024

Are you looking for ways to upgrade your life? If so, take a look at your habits.

SMART Goals Featured Image

We all appreciate the timeless saying, "Change is the only constant in life." 

Each year holds the promise of opportunities for growth and development. Nonetheless, on many occasions, even the most sincere new year's resolutions and change efforts often fail to persist.

Why? Because they are vague visions.

According to a Harvard Business Review article, you need first to determine what goals you want to achieve to build a strategic plan [1].

As a health coach, I can help you make positive changes to improve your health in 2024 using this framework. I find knowing what SMART goals are guides my clients in setting practical plans and crafting a winning strategy.

More on that below. 

Table Of Contents

What is a SMART Goal?

SMART goals are an effective tool to make your dreams clear, and easier to handle. They serve as a bridge between your ideas and actual steps needed for personal and professional growth.

The acronym SMART stands for:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound

George T. Doran devised this method in 1981 to optimize project management. Initially, he suggested specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-related [2].  

Over time, the terminology adapted from assignable to achievable and time-related to time-bound. It helps you to outline what you want to achieve, how you will determine success, and when it will happen.

The Five Components of SMART Goals

When crafting your goals, they should be SMART. The five ingredients lay the groundwork that moves you closer to your life's desires and purpose.

The Five Components of SMART Goals

Here's how SMART goals can help you change this 2024:

  • They need to be Specific: What do you want to achieve/ what defines success?

Your goals should be clear and concise. 

✅ Keep it brief.

✅ Stay focused.

✅ Simplify language.

✅ Use direct statements.

  • They must be Measurable: How will you know when you’ve achieved it? How will you track your progress?

Your goals should be quantifiable for productive tracking and see how far you’ve come.

  • They should be Achievable: Is it possible for you to achieve this goal?

Your goals should be realistic and attainable. If they’re not, they’re dreams, staying out of reach.

  • They have to be Relevant: How does this goal fit into your life/ your values/ motivations?

Your goals should align with your values and priorities. They should also be something that matters to you personally, not something someone else wants for you.

  • They ought to be Time-Bound: When will you start and what will be your deadline?

Your goals should have a deadline so that you can stay focused and motivated. It’s easy to put them off until later or forget about them altogether if they don't.

7 Examples of SMART Goals

Knowing how to apply SMART goals is a skill you can use in various situations.

According to the International Journal of Instruction, adults who routinely resort to goal setting often succeed and improve their academic scores [3].

So, to help you succeed, here are 7 examples of SMART goals you can mimic:

10 Examples of SMART Goals

Sounds a little funky, right? But once you ensure you have the individual pieces you put it together in a phrase that sounds more like you.

I will lose 20 pounds by focusing on a healthy diet and regular exercise in order to improve my health and decrease the risk of chronic diseases within the next 6 months starting Jan. 27th.

It becomes a little more real, then as your health coach, we work together to break that down to smaller bite sized next steps.

Let's look at a few more:

  • Yoga

S: I want to reduce low back pain stemming from tight lower body muscles

M: I will attend yoga class 3 times per week to strech.

A: I will join a local yoga studio to help me achieve this.

R: This is important for my mental and physical health.

T: I will consistently follow this routine for 3 months.

  • Wall Sit Challenge

S: I want to strengthen my leg muscles by holding a wall sit for 2 minutes

M: I will perform wall sit exercises gradually increasing the amount of time each week by 20 seconds.

A: I will incorporate this into my existing routine, while I wait for me tea to brew in the morning 

R: This will contribute to my overall fitness and strength.

T: I will achieve this within the next 6 weeks. I will start this week.

  • Stress Management

S: I want to reduce my stress levels, indicated by my resting heart rate.

M: I will engage in stress-reducing activities like reading and walking for at least 30 minutes daily. Checking my heart rate before and after the activity with my smart watch

A: I will build these activities into my daily schedule, utilizing my calendar

R: This will help to improve mental health, productivity and physical health

T: I will execute this plan daily for the next 2 months beginning today. Then I will see if my resting heart rate has changed.

  • Meditation

S: I want to incorporate meditation into my daily routine.

M: I will meditate for 15 minutes per day.

A: I will follow guided meditation sessions using the insight timer app.

R: This will decrease stress, improve mental clarity, and promote relaxation.

T: Beginning today and for the next 30 days.

S: I want to improve my diet by incorporating more whole foods by eating 1 meal a day without any processed foods.

M: I will measure this by tracking my lunches each day

A: I will modify my grocery list, look up 1 new recipe per week, and shop the perimeter of the grocery store first.

R: This will provide the necessary nutrients for my body and contribute to better health.

T: I will follow this dietary change for the next month, beginning with my shopping this Saturday

  • Reading

S: I want to read 12 books

M: I will read one book per month.

A: I will dedicate at least 10 minutes daily to uninterrupted reading.

R: This will contribute to my understanding of diverse topics and improve my language skills.

T: I will complete reading 12 books over the next 12 months.

SMART Goals (FAQs)

What are the 5 SMART goals examples?

Here is an example of SMART goals for losing weight:

Specific: I will lose 20 lbs.

Measurable: ...20 pounds via my home scale...

Achievable: ...through a healthy diet, regular exercise...

Relevant: ...for my overall health, and decreasing the risk of obesity-related diseases.

Time-bound: ...within 6 months.

What are SMART goals explain?

SMART goals outline specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. It is a method that helps you pay attention to the significant factors while preventing you from getting overwhelmed by unnecessary details.

What are SMART goals, explained?

SMART goals are a step-by-step guide to victory for strategizing, monitoring, and reaching your goals. It is a powerful statement of what you want to achieve with specific actions.

What are SMART goals in my life?

SMART goals in your life refer to personal goals set using the SMART framework. It suits various self-development fields like health enhancement, financial control, career progression, relationship enrichment, or skill acquisition.

What to do next?

Now that you understand the value of setting SMART goals, it's time to put things into motion.

Understand your weak areas and set realistic improvement goals. Ensure your goals are SMART to excel.

If you feel overwhelmed or need further support, consider teaming up with me.

I can guide you in setting SMART goals and provide you with the tools to achieve them, like the following:

✅ Upgrade your health 

✅ Make reasonable goals for your wellness.

✅ Action planning.

And if you apply these steps, you'll excel in 2024.

Stay healthy, stay SMART!

With Gratitude,

Alexa Hanshaw


About the Author

Alexa Hanshaw

Alexa Hanshaw is a national board-certified health and wellness coach (NBC-HWC). She is also a stress management coach who helps women be the CEO of their stress. She empowers her clients to push past the confusion of the health and wellness industry to create lifestyle habits that bring them energy and work with their bodies instead of against it.

Join her free Facebook group, Be the CEO of Your Stress, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube for quick, easy & healthy tips on stress, health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and how to stay mindful!



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