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A Simple Way to Write and Achieve Goals for the New Year

Thursday, January 22, 2009 by: Dr. Samuel Mielcarski
Tags: health goals, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A new year is upon us and many people have set good intentions on improving their health and well-being. However, all too often, after only a few short days or weeks of excitement, these good intentions are forgotten and better health just gets added to a long to-do list that never gets done. So what is the key to achieving better health and well-being in this new year? Simply put: Having goals. Although this may not sound like new advice, it may be prudent to actually follow this advice to be more successful in health matters.

Written goals represent a true commitment to self. Without a commitment, goals are nothing more than a thought or dream. Thoughts and dreams are something people would like to have happen. However, if unwilling to pay the price to make these things happen, they never do. All meaningful goals have a price; and this cost may involve overcoming fears and/or investing a certain amount of time and energy.

Goals should be more than just some arbitrary thing scribbled down on a piece of paper; they need to be SMART goals.

Specific: Goals need to be specific. The more specific goals are the more focused one can be on achieving them. However, goals should be kept simple. Specific goals need to be selected for the right reason also. Choosing a goal that makes one happy (satisfies an individual`s needs), as opposed to making someone else happy is important. Specific goals should have a motivating reason behind them as well. In other words: Why is the goal important?

Measurable: Goals should be measurable. If there is not a way of measuring the goal, it will be difficult to tell if it has been accomplished. Keeping written goals in sight as well as using charts, graphs, pictures, a journal, etc. to track progress is important.

Action oriented: Goals, especially short-term goals, need to be based around actions (particularly actions that can be controlled), not outcomes. Long-term goals can be more outcomes based. Again, keeping goals in sight and the reasons why one wants to achieve them can provide the motivation to take action.

Realistic: Goals should be reasonable or realistic if they are going to be attained. Unrealistic goals usually lead to undesirable results. Being honest with oneself regarding time, capabilities, resources, and desire is important to achieving goals.

Time based: Goals take time to reach, so patience is important. However, if a goal has no endpoint to achieve it, it may never happen. For greater success, focusing on only one long-term goal at a time is recommended.

Let`s take a look at an example of this whole goal-writing process:

Step 1: Establish a long-term (outcome-based) SMART goal.
Example: I want to lose 20 pounds in the next 3 months.

Step 2: Establish short-term (action oriented/behavioral-based) goals.
I will exercise for at least 30-45 minutes per day.
I will eat at least 50% raw organic plant-based foods at all my meals.
I will get plenty of sleep every night.
I will manage my stress with only healthy stress management techniques.

Step 3: Review the goal established to make sure it`s a SMART goal.

Step 4: Take action. Three months are going to pass no matter what. Time happens, so trying to control time is not the best approach.

However, what an individual can control are the behaviors during that 3-month time period that will help him or her to achieve this long-term weight-loss goal.

SMART goals can act as building blocks, with each one being an important piece of creating a solid foundation for better health and well-being. Each achieved goal can provide the strength and direction necessary to help one attain the next goal (a higher state of health and well-being or whatever it is one is trying to achieve). This process can continue throughout life.

The following SMART Goals Contract can be used to help one better achieve their health goals for this year and in the future:

SMART Goals Contract

I hereby promise myself that I am totally committed to my health goal(s).
Here are my commitments for the next 4-6 weeks:

Long-term Goal: ___________________________________________________

Short-term goals (daily actions required):
1) ___________________________________________________________

I know that I will gain more than I can possibly imagine by making this commitment to becoming healthier. The world around me will only change when I change. Here is my signature as my promise to stay committed to my goal(s).

Signature_______________________ Date__________

About the author

Dr. SAM (Samuel Arthur Mielcarski), DPT, is an expert in the field of rehabilitation. He is currently licensed as a physical therapist in Georgia and Florida. He has over 13 years of clinical rehabilitation and health-coaching experience, combined with additional training, education, and practical experience in integrative bodywork, nutrition, natural hygiene, exercise/fitness, mind-body integration, performance enhancement, and personal training. He is the author of the recently released: "Revolutionary Rehab Manual: A Common Sense Approach to Health and Healing." Details can be found at: RevolutionaryRehab.com. He can be contacted via email at [email protected] or through his main website: www.DrSamPT.com.

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