Design your SMART goals and get to work!

Welcome to week two of 2017. This is the week that your new year’s resolutions are put to the test. The first week is filled with excitement and the vision of a healthier future. Week two is filled with sore muscles and a fatigued mental state. A great way to ensure that you stick to your fitness plans is to have clearly defined goals. I like to use the acronym SMART when it comes to setting my nutrition and fitness goals.

S- Specific- What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the better the chance you'll get exactly that.

M- Measureable- Measurable goals, means that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear, and feel when you reach your goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements. Counting your steps, calories consumed, hours active, flights of stairs walked, and time spent in target heart rate zone.

A- Attainable- Is your goal attainable? That means investigating whether the goal really is attainable for you. You have to take into consideration all of the internal and external factors that can keep you from hitting your goals. Setting a goal to lose 50 pounds in a month is not attainable. Spreading out those 50 pounds over the course of a couple years is a more attainable goal.

R- Research-based- In order to set appropriate goals, you need to do your homework. What is the best kind of nutrition or fitness plan for your body type or specific goals that you are trying to meet? You do not need to re-create the wheel when it comes to developing a nutrition or fitness goal. There are thousands of nutrition and fitness resources out there to help you set your goals. Research based or data driven resources will provide the best information for you. Check out for our collection of research based and data driven nutrition and fitness information.

T- Time-bound- When do you plan on reaching your goals? Setting time based goals, whether they are short-term or long-term, can help develop as sense of urgency and keep you on task.

Design your SMART goals and get to work! Need help creating or keeping with your SMART goals? E-mail me with questions or comments at
Brad Averill, M.Ed.
Extension Educator- Food, Nutrition, and Health
University of Nebraska – Lincoln