Change is in the air: The SMART goal-setting strategy

Blog Post created by dr_hays on May 1, 2015

As winter melts away into spring and summer, many people set personal goals. However, making any change takes patience and commitment and, as we all know, the process of quitting tobacco can be VERY HARD!

Success in stopping smoking is often achieved through careful planning and preparation. Just as it is important to make firm plans for quitting, you may want to consider making other health-related changes in your life as well. Like stopping smoking, these other goals can fall by the wayside if they are not clearly defined. 

To make this quit attempt successful, it is important to consider setting realistic goals that will be “do-able” for you.

One goal setting strategy to consider is the SMART approach. In the SMART strategy, you look at Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound aspects for the goals you are interested in.

For example, if you are planning to initiate an exercise program, you may want to set a specific goal. Rather than say, “I will exercise several times this week”, you may want to define it SPECIFICALLY as, “I will walk one mile 3 times this week.” This can be easily MEASURED...  Similarly, if this is goal is physically possible, it is ATTAINABLE. The next part of the SMART strategy is RELEVANCE. Is this goal relevant for you at this time?  With a goal of stopping smoking, it certainly would be. We know that having some sort of exercise routine in your life when you quit tobacco will help with cravings. Finally, the TIME-BOUND piece of this strategy refers to evaluating this goal in a defined period of time to see if you have been successful; and if appropriate, setting a more challenging goal for the future.

Good luck with your lifestyle changes. Change is indeed in the air!