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Jan 28 2013

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Sneaker Health: Make a Plan

Make a Plan

The first step of the plan is to write SMART goals

Last week, I wrote about SMART goals. Just for a quick refresher, SMART goals have these qualities: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. It takes time to write SMART goals well. Have you taken the time to write out your SMART health goals? If not, that has to be first on your list. Get those goals written down. With your goal in hand, start writing out a plan. Some of those details will be found within your SMART goal statement.

Think with the end in mind and work backward to write your plan

The goal is where you want to end up. Thinking backward will help you trace the steps you need to take to get there. Before I can do that, I need to do this. And before I can do that, I need to do this. Eventually, you will get to what you need to do this week, what you need to do today, and what you need to do now.

Add some incentives and rewards as a part of the plan

  • If I complete my goal today, I will…
  • If I complete my goal this week, I will…
  • If I complete my goal this month, I will…

A far-off goal needs help along the way. Just make sure the rewards don't counter your goal–a huge dessert isn't a great reward for keeping away from desserts, but an appropriately-portioned dessert (on occasion) may be. When I was in the midst of full-on dieting, I planned a dessert ever other week. It was a reasonable portion and gave me great motivation to stay on track the rest of the time. If that would make you crash your diet, that is not an option for you. Rewards can be in many forms without having to be expensive or “guilty.” Take time to make rewards that are truly exciting and motivating. Then, make sure you actually reward yourself as you achieve.

Ideas for rewards

  • Time working on a hobby
  • Time alone
  • Time with friends
  • Buy a new item to add to your arsenal of healthy-living supplies (running/walking shoes, yoga pants, food scale, FitBit)
  • Buy a journal to keep record of your progress
  • Have a celebratory meal (It doesn't have to be unhealthy. It can be something that you don't normally eat but enjoy.)
  • Pay yourself (The amount doesn't matter. It could be a penny in a jar. The point is that it is tangible and that you find it rewarding.)

Then work your plan

A great plan isn't worth much if the plan isn't worked.

Need a nudge? Some prodding? That may be your second step in the plan: find a “nudgy” friend. Someone who will call, write (text or email), or visit. Someone who can nudge you to keep working the plan.

So, what is your plan?

This week. I am going to write a SMART health goal along with an “end in mind” plan. Will you join me?

 

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