When you are ready to make a behavior change, set a goal to improve your likelihood of success! SMART goals include five important characteristics:
- Specific: Rather than trying to completely overhaul your lifestyle, focus on just one behavior at a time.
- Measurable: Include a definite way to track your progress.
- Achievable: To avoid discouragement, make sure the goal is realistic for you.
- Relevant: Choose a goal that is worthwhile and in alignment with what is going on in your life right now.
- Timed: Set a due date.
As a guide for format, here is a SMART goal related to fruit juice intake:
By December 1st, I will decrease by intake of added sugars by choosing water instead of fruit juice as my beverage with meals. I will track my progress using a food diary.
You can see that this goal is specific (focuses on one behavior change), measurable (servings of fruit juice and water per day), achievable (it is feasible and economical to hydrate with water instead of fruit juice), relevant (it would assist efforts at weight control and help me to save some money), and is timed (due date is December 1st).
After you have analyzed your dietary data, identify an area related to your beverage intake that could use some improvement. Think of a SMART goal for yourself that would modify your beverage intake for the better. Make it relevant for you.
1. SPECIFIC: What is one specific behavior that you could change to improve your beverage intake?
2. MEASURABLE: How could you measure this behavior?
3. ACHIEVABLE: What practical strategies will you use to achieve your goal?
4. RELEVANT: Describe how this behavior change goal is worthwhile and in alignment with what is going on in your life right now.
5. TIMED: By what date would you like to achieve your behavior change?