We’ve talked before about the idea of creating SMART goals (those that are specific, measurable, achievable, results-driven and timely). A SMART goal takes a lifestyle change like “I want to eat healthier this year” and makes it an actionable plan like “I will eat a side salad with every meal and only eat dessert on Friday this week.”
Now, let’s talk more about why SMART goals work, what makes them effective and how SMART goals can help you live life boldly.
What makes SMART goals effective?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, SMART goals are effective because they:
- Help you stay focused and not lose motivation
- Create space to consider what you want to achieve and when
- Hold you accountable
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says a SMART goal is also a good way to figure out what long-term lifestyle change you want to reach and which new habits will get you there.
What types of goals are best for the SMART approach?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the SMART acronym started off in the business world but works for personal goals, too! Here are some examples of the kinds of goals that benefit from the SMART approach:
- Dietary changes
- Fitness improvements
- Health screenings and appointments
- Retirement planning
When applying the SMART concept to goals in these categories, remember to include details that create a path toward success. A SMART plan for each goal could look like this:
- Three healthy dinners this week with whole foods and veggies
- Two lunches this weekend inspired by the Mediterranean diet
- Visiting the local YMCA every Tuesday at 7:30 for an aerobics class
- Making calls this Monday to schedule annual visits with your primary care provider (PCP) and other providers for dental, vision and hearing care
- Putting a note on your calendar three months before your 65th birthday to learn more about the Medicare timeline
To support these positive changes, ApexHealth offers fitness benefits (including access to fitness centers) and coverage for some annual check-ups, as well as allowances for many dental, vision and hearing services. It’s also a good idea to investigate your ApexExtras to take advantage of additional benefits in your ApexHealth plan.
How can SMART goals help you live life boldly?
Setting SMART goals can be a helpful way to appreciate bold age. When we talk about living life boldly, we mean taking advantage of the time available when we get older to:
- Revisit forgotten dreams
- Discover new passions
- Explore exciting possibilities
Try writing down a SMART goal to help you revisit one of these ideas. For instance, if you used to love painting but haven’t had the time to pick up a brush in years, now’s your chance! Set a SMART goal like, “I will attend one painting class each quarter this year” or “I will paint for one hour every week this month.”
We hope that with this information, you’ll be able to accomplish more of your goals. Call (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711) to get more information from an ApexAssistant. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30 and seven days a week 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31.