With an Incredibly Easy Method that Works!
How many resolutions have you made about your health over the last few years? Perhaps you resolved to shed a few pounds, begin an exercise program, get some testing done to determine why you are not feeling as well as you would like? How many times have you told yourself that you are really going to have to start eating healthier, or exercising more or getting more sleep? You think about it every time you have a reminder that you just don’t feel that great.
You vow to yourself that you are going to start tomorrow or next week, and then that thought just slips out of your mind only to be repeated when your next bout of fatigue or headaches or stomach problems reappear. It can be overwhelming to think about where to begin or what needs to be done, and eventually the defeating thoughts take over and you decide that it can’t be done.
Well you can achieve and you can succeed. It may be easier than you think. You just need a method or system. One that works for health like it has worked in the world of business and finance.
Just be S.M.A.R.T.
You need to create a list of S.M.A.R.T. Goals. S.M.A.R.T. Goals is an acronym that was developed by George T. Doran in 1981 in Spokane Washington. He was a director for corporate planning. You may wonder how this would apply to your goals regarding your health. The basic principles of his process are so successful that they are applied to all aspects of goal achievement and widely used because it works! This is how you can apply S.M.A.R.T. Goals to help you achieve your optimum health again. Using the definition is where we start.
- S. is for Specific! You should write down a goal that is simple and yet significant. Such as “I would like to have more energy, or get rid of these headaches, or maybe get to the bottom of why I feel foggy and confused so much”. Choose something that is truly difficult for you to manage at this time, but don’t make it so complicated and unrealistic that you cannot identify the goal. Really think about ‘What do I want to accomplish?’, ‘Why this is important?’ ‘What this will involve?’ ‘What resources will I need?’
- M. is for Measurable. You will need to have a goal whose progress you can track and results you can measure. There is great motivation involved when you can track your success. If your goal is weight loss, you can easily see the results. If your goal is to improve your energy levels you can record things you have done that you haven’t done in a while. If your goal is a measureable one, you will be able to clearly see when you have achieved your goal.
- A is for Achievable. Your goal should stretch your limits but also be within reason in relation to your circumstances. If obstacles real or imagined seem too difficult to overcome right now, find another goal or revise the goal to reduce the obstacle. There are many options available to you that you may not be aware of that knowledgeable Functional Medicine Doctors can help you to identify.
- R is for Relevant. Your goal should significantly pertain to something important to you right now—today; in this moment. You should feel as if the goal would really make a difference in your life. If you have been suffering for a long time with fatigue or headaches or any other chronic disabling physical problems, the goal you choose should be relevant to that and your efforts and focus will make the goal that much more inspiring.
- T is for Time-Bound. Your goal should have a target time limitation. You do not want to make a life-long ‘maybe I will achieve this’ type of goal. You need to anticipate results that clearly show progress within a time frame. You should be able to see results in a time frame that seems reasonable to you and anyone who may be helping you.
So, one example of designing a S.M.A.R.T. Goal might be:
Usual goal: I want to run a marathon this year (This is the “relevant”, truly meaningful goal for you).
S.M.A.R.T. Goal: I have spent time with others around my age and with similar life circumstances who have trained for and successfully completed marathons. Based upon what is specific, measurable, achievable (for me), relevant (to me), and is based upon a time frame, here is my goal: I will train in the evenings and begin with x distance for x number of weeks (based upon the advice I find meaningful and realistic). I will change my pace and duration of training time based upon the plan I developed with the input of those guiding me. When I cannot train in the evenings, I will train (whatever you Plan B might be). I will be running half-marathon distances by x date. If not, I will speak with my coach again and revise my plan keeping it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and within a time-frame.
There are many examples of how to set these kinds of goals on the Internet with work sheets to help you. You can apply this principle to any goals in any categories.
To further help you with achieving your most personally important goals, there is a method that is truly simple to implement and keep you on track. It is called the Kaizen Method. The Kaizen Method is a Japanese philosophy that means ’never ending improvement through all aspects of life’. It is about making things simple and moving forward in a pace that works for you. It means taking advantage of any moment and any opportunity which invites you to take a step, even a small one, in the direction of your goal.
Here is how the Kaizen approach may help you with your S.M.A.R.T. Goal
- Identify Opportunity. An example would be if you are working on getting more sleep, take that moment to rest when you find it. Don’t fall back on your default setting and ignore that moment, see it as an opportunity to start working towards your goal.
- Analyze the Process. Ask yourself questions about what it will take to achieve your goal. For example, if you are trying to eliminate sugar in your diet, ask yourself if you really have to have that large soda, or would you be satisfied with an alternative healthier thirst quencher such as green tea with honey, or a healthy fruit shakeup.
- Develop an Optimal Solution. Working with the expertise of Dr. Rosman will help you to have a better understanding of what you need to do to achieve your goal list. Some of the ideas you have had about how to approach your needs may be completely different than what your unique system actually needs.
- Implement that Solution. This is like the NIKE commercial. Just do it! To truly discover the possibilities of feeling better it is imperative that you give the solution a chance to work. It may need some adjusting here and there, but overall…if you come up with a plan, stick to it.
- Study the Results. Pay attention to how the new plan of action is coming together. Take notice of the changes and celebrate the positive outcomes no matter how small they are.
- Standardize the Solution. Make this solution your new ‘norm’. Once you have discovered that it has worked, there is no need to think of it as a temporary fix. The time is now to continue on the path to improve in even more ways than the original goal. When you make the solution a way of life, continued success is almost a guarantee.
- Plan for the Future. You have taken the time to set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal list. You have done the work to achieve your goals. That is great, but as the Kaizen Method of achieving that goal implies, there is always the chance to improve.
Often what is difficult becomes simpler with a practical, reasonable, realistic, step-by-step plan. What you believe you can achieve – but your plan and its execution matter.
Dr. Rosman has helped thousands work with the concept of Kaizen and S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and he can help you too!