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What is goal setting, and why is it important to you?

A goal is something that we want to achieve. Setting goals can help us be specific about exactly what we want to achieve. Goal setting can also help us to identify what we may need to stop, start or do differently.

SMART goals

To help make our goals more realistic and achievable, it’s important to make them SMART. To make a goal SMART, it must be:

  • Specific – Make your goal as specific as possible
  • Measurable – Identify a way to measure your progress whilst working towards   your goal 
  • Achievable – Your goal should be just out of reach, but not out of sight 
  • Relevant – Think about your values
  • Time-bound – Set a time by which you would like to achieve your goal

Short, medium, and long-term goals

You may know about eating well but, you may find that you eat differently when you are bored or stressed. This means it can be easy for you to develop a habit of reaching for a certain food in response to dull or challenging situations. Setting a goal could help you to adjust these habits, your eating and your activity.

Once you’ve made your long-term goal SMART, you can identify some short-term goals. Short-term goals are the bite-sized chunks that will help you achieve your long-term goal.

For example, if your long-term SMART goal is to choose healthy choices when stressed, your short-term goals might be to:

(a) record what you eat and how you’re feeling

(b) explore alternative ways to help with stress

(c) understand triggers to your stress.  

Setbacks and celebrations

When setting your goals, spend time thinking about what might get in the way. By considering potential barriers, you can think of ways to overcome them. For example, if you find it hard to be active due to feeling tired, you may think about responding differently to your feelings for example being active for ten minutes. Try to choose changes that fit into your lifestyle or plan activities with a friend to motivate each other.

If you experience a setback, don’t be put off. Goal setting is a skill that takes time. Remember to be kind to yourself!

Don’t forget celebrate your successes! By making your goals measurable, you’ll know when you’ve reached a short or long-term goal. How you will celebrate?

Continue your journey

Click on the next page Getting the support you need to continue your journey.


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