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Health Tip: Smaller More Specific Goals

I am a goal oriented person, but I just read that ambiguous goals are less motivating since they seem harder to attain. Allison Chopra, a fitness expert at Indiana University, believes goals like "losing weight" or "feeling better" are too amorphous to measure on a daily or weekly basis so they don't help you stay focused. It is always helpful to remember that weight loss takes time since dropping 1 to 2 pounds a week is considered safe, doable and maintainable.


Chopra believes people need to be SMART about their goals and yes that is a helpful acronym. SMART is a fitness industry catch phrase and it breaks down like this - goals should be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reward (as in, give yourself one when you've achieved a goal) and Time (set a time for reaching the goal). Seems easy to do, right?

Chopra often gives her clients' goals a little bit of a make over. If the over all, long term goal is to feel healthier, the short term goal is to get 8 hours of sleep a night for a week. (Do you think the reward would be an afternoon nap on Sunday?) She would replace the ambiguous goal of "eating healthy" with limiting the intake of sugar for a week. Instead of eliminating fat from all food, she suggests a focus on eating breakfast every morning. Of course, the best way to track your goals is to keep a journal!

I am curious if you have any specific goals. Tell me about them in the comments section below.

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