Promoting Positive Behavior Change- Adopting Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors

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Goal setting can be an appropriate first step in promoting positive change to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors.  Using a goal setting strategy, such as SMART goals, can help increase motivation, self-efficacy, and self-esteem for behaviors.  The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help an individual set appropriate health goals and create an effective strategy for promoting behavior change.

SMART goals can be used to help an individual set appropriate, specific goals that can help with the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors.  Often times, we fail to set appropriate goals and therefore set ourselves up to fail.  SMART is an acronym that can be used to outline our goals in an efficient and meaningful manner.

Specific – what specifically will you achieve?

Measurable – how will you know when you’ve completed your goal?

Action-Oriented/Achievable – something you can do; is this goal attainable?

Realistic/Relevant –will I realistically be able to achieve this; why is it important?

Time-Based – set a deadline to complete your goal

Once we set a SMART goal there are several strategies that we can take to help ensure success in adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors.  First, we want to write our goal down.  Writing it down helps make the goal concrete and hold us accountable.  Second, we want to consider long-term and short-term goals.  Long-term goals are great because they function as the big prize we are working towards, but they lack immediate feedback.  Short-term goals can be used as a path to our long-term goals and help provide motivation and feedback along the way. Additionally, it is important to evaluate and revise our goals along the way.  Finally, we want to consider the potential barriers we might right into during our journey to achieve our goals.  If we plan out the barriers and solutions ahead of time, we will be much more inclined to overcome these barriers when they pop up.

Using SMART goals and goal setting strategies can help to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors and promote positive behavior change.  The Healthy Lifestyle Center can help by discussing your specific health goals and working with you to develop a goal setting plan.  We can assist by providing specific strategies and education that will help you adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors.

By Matt Lewandowski