The Benefits of Setting SMART Goals

by The Cooperative

Benefits of Setting SMART Goals
A new year means setting New Year’s resolutions or goals. The acronym “SMART”, stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Research has shown that setting SMART goals is an effective tool for anyone who wants to make health related changes in their lives last long term. Setting SMART goals helps give you a sense of ownership and personal importance to stay motivated and implement changes that last. It also aids in developing a detailed action plan to break down bigger goals into smaller steppingstone goals to work towards the bigger overall goal. Here are some benefits of setting SMART goals for yourself this year:


  1. Specific:
    • Setting specific goals helps you clarify exactly what you want to achieve.
    • Being specific when setting your goals helps you focus on certain aspects of your health that you wish to improve.
  2. Measurable:
    • Setting measurable goals allows you a way to track and measure your progress towards your goal over time.
    • Being able to see your progress over time will help you stay motivated and reinforce your commitment.
  3. Attainable:
    • Creating attainable or realistic goals will help you stay motivated to work towards your goals in the future.
    • Setting realistic goals sets you up for a sense of achievement, which leads to a positive mindset.
    • When you achieve your goals, it causes endorphins to be released in your brain, which then leads to the release of dopamine (the “happy” chemical in our brain). When this happens, it drives your momentum to continue striving to achieve more goals.   
  4. Relevant:
    • It’s important to set goals that matter to you, fit into your schedule, and resonate with your own values.
    • Creating relevant goals for yourself will help you stay motivated to achieve your goals.
  5. Time-bound:
    • Establishing a realistic time frame to achieve your goal will help keep you on track and allow you to track your progress during the time frame.
    • Giving yourself a time frame or deadline to reach a goal by can help prevent procrastination and it encourages consistent effort throughout the time frame.


By using the SMART goal criteria when setting your goals for this year, you will be setting yourself up to be more successful at achieving your goals. There is always something to improve on when it comes to health, so challenge yourself within reason this year and start planning your SMART goals.
By, Coach Mariah

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