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 iron intake:
By January 1st, I will increase my usual iron intake to meet my RDA of 18 mg per day. I will do this by choosing a breakfast cereal that is fortified with 100% of the DV for iron. I will track my progress using NutritionCalc Plus.
You can see that this goal is specific (focuses on one behavior change), measurable (mg of iron per day), achievable (it would be possible to choose an iron-fortified cereal for breakfast), relevant (it would support my blood health), and is timed (due date is January 1st).
After you have analyzed your dietary data, identify an area related to minerals that could use some improvement. For example, many college students realize that their intake of sodium is higher than recommended. Think of a SMART goal for yourself that would improve your intake of that mineral. Make it relevant for you.
1. SPECIFIC: What is one specific behavior that you could change to improve your intake of minerals?
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?