When you are choosing your first change to make, think back to the goal you have committed to. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about how to reach your goal? If your goal is to lose weight, then you might cut down on sugary drinks or go to the gym more often. If your goal is to eat more vegetables, then you might choose vegetables you can eat more of. Whatever change you choose to make, be sure that it is a SMART change.
Make a SMART Change
You may have already heard of the acronym SMART that is commonly used when making goals and changes. Making SMART changes means to make a specific change that is measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Let’s go through each of those now.
When making a change, you want to make sure that your change is specific. If you want to cut down on sugary beverages, pick one sugary beverage to focus on. If you want to go to the gym, be specific with how many days you want to go. Or if you want to eat more vegetables, choose one vegetable to focus on eating more of.
How do you know when you are successfully making the change? You won’t know unless you include some kind of measurement. If your first change is to cut down on sodas, how many sodas do you want to cut down to? If you choose to go to the gym, how many days you decide on is both specific and measurable. If you want to eat healthier, with how many meals do you want to eat a salad? You can choose to be really specific, like 5 days of the week or go from 5 to 3 a day. Or you could choose a limit, like more than 3 days a week or less than 5 a day. Just choose whatever works for you.
Achievable and Realistic
Another important characteristic of your first change is to make sure that the change is achievable and realistic. If your goal is to stop drinking sodas, it may not be realistic to go from 5 sodas a day to zero. You may be setting yourself up for failure. It’s not that you won’t be able to stop drinking sodas. It’s just that stopping cold turkey may not be achievable for you. That’s totally ok. You’ll reach your goal, don’t worry. You just have to make small changes to get there. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, if you haven’t yet developed the discipline of making changes, be aware that it may take a little time for you to be able to make bigger or more difficult changes.
When you decide what your first change will be, it’s assumed that you want to immediately start that change and maintain it for life. You may want a deadline to make the change or only keep it for a certain time. For example, you may want to only go to the gym 5 days a week until you lose 20 pounds.
To Sum It Up
If you remember anything about this post, then remember this… The key to making changes that last is to make SMART changes. We often try to make too many changes at once, which does not let us develop the discipline of making changes. We can do one change really well or many changes kinda well. It’s up to you!
If you have anything you have found to help you make changes that last, comment below!