Setting goals to support success

Dec 13, 2019 | Julia Jurgensen | @juliajurgensen

Smart Goals: Specific, Measurable, Timely, Realistic, Achievable

For many, the new year means new intentions. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for goals set in January to be long forgotten by February. You can help prevent this by setting specific goals. For example, instead of a goal to get in shape, make your goal to walk for 30 minutes during your lunch break at least four days a week. Below are two tools to help you set specific goals for your wellness journey.

The 6 W Questions

Create your goals using the six “W” questions:

  • Who:   Who is involved
  • What:  What you want to accomplish
  • Where:  Identify a location
  • When: Establish a time frame
  • Which:    Identify requirements
  • Why:    List the specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.


Another tool used frequently in goal-setting is the use of the acronym SMART.

pecific – General goals allow for too much leeway. Focus on a small, specific practice.
Measureable - When you measure your progress, you are more likely to stay on track!
Achievable – Goals should be achievable, given your current resources and time.
Realistic – Align your goals within your current lifestyle and focus.
Time-centered - A goal should be grounded within a timeframe, including a clear beginning and end date.

Want more?

You can learn more about SMART goals from these Mayo Clinic experts and resources:

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Weight Management blog.

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