Effective Goal Setting

Ready to set health goals that work? When we think of the ball dropping, we often think of the new year weight loss campaigns and fitness new year’s resolutions that go along with it. A healthy new year doesn’t have to be about weight loss; it can simply be about looking at what the past New Year’s resolutions brought or didn’t bring. New year’s health resolutions can be fun and doable, they don’t have to be daunting and scary. New Year’s resolution’s diet plans can be a thing of the past because a resolution should be something long-lasting. The term “yo-yo diet” exists for a reason. A “diet” can imply something that’s fleeting, a temporary fix. Let’s make 2020 not just about new year weight loss, but about new year health goals. As a social worker, one of the tools we learn to help our clients create goals for themselves that are achievable, is called SMART goals. This blog will use SMART goals to help you set resolutions for 2020 that are health positive and achievable. How does that sound? If you’re still with me, maybe you’re ready to set an intention that will FINALLY stick. How cool would that be?


I love the term SMART goals because the title says it all. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. There are many sites out now that can help you to set SMART goals around various areas of your life. You can plug in and play your ideas with this website.

I will walk you through some health and fitness goals for 2020 using this SMART system.

How can I set a SMART goal for nutrition?

After Thanksgiving, my team and I do a three-day plant-based cleanse that always helps us to jump-start our health and fitness goals. I will use this three day cleanse as an example for a SMART goal around nutrition because it fits the formula so well. Here is the breakdown:

  • Specific: To lose weight and jump-start a health and fitness plan after Thanksgiving indulgences.
  • Measurable: Measured in pounds by how much weight is lost.
  • Achievable: If followed the program guarantees results or full money back. Most people lose 2-5 pounds in three days. 
  • Relevant: After Thanksgiving is a perfect time to do a quick and easy no hassle cleanse without completely shocking the system before the remainder of the seasonal festivities.
  • Time-Bound: This specific cleanse is just three days. 

It seems simple right? The SMART plan above is outlined specifically for the three day cleanse. A link with more information is provided above!

Setting a SMART goal for a fitness program?

One of the things I love most about the fitness programs I have been using for myself and my clients, for the past four years, is that the amount of movement in conjunction with the client-centered nutrition plans fits right into the SMART format. Each of the programs are measurable and I do not know one person who has not seen results. Each program has a specific calendar with several optimal days to check off for results. I am truly not just saying this. I would hope that if you have been following me or reading my blogs, by now, you would know that I am a no BS kind of person. So here is a breakdown for one of the common programs I recommend to my clients that includes both fitness and nutrition.

Here is the SMART breakdown:

  • Specific: To lose weight and maintain an easy eating plan that will keep the weight off after a specific fitness plan. A 21-day program with a variety of body movements and a simple portion system for nutrition.
  • Measurable: Measured in pounds by how much weight is lost after 21 days.
  • Achievable: If followed the program guarantees results or full money back. Most people lose 5-15 pounds in 21 days. 
  • Relevant: This program is for all shapes and sizes, anyone can complete it to their comfort level. The program incorporates both fitness and nutrition to lose weight.
  • Time-Bound: This specific program is just 21 days. 

How do I make my plan with the SMART system?

Above, I used two programs I already know and love as examples to show you how simple it is to plug them into the SMART goals system. If you want to make your own program, give the SMART system a try to see if it works for you. Simply use the same formula and perhaps the website I tagged above for you to ask yourself the correct questions. Here is an example: What if I want to see if cutting out simple carbs and sugars from my diet provides weight loss? Let’s use the formula to see what works and what does not work.

  • Specific: To lose weight by cutting out simple carbs from my diet.
  • Measurable: I will try this for 7 days and see if it makes a difference.
  • Achievable: I can commit to cutting carbs for 7 days to see if there is a difference in my weight-loss.
  • Relevant: I feel I have the willpower to cut out carbs from my diet. Many nutritionists say a low carbohydrate diet is best for weight-loss (This may be relevant for you, when you are asking yourself if you are the right person to complete this type of regimen, it wouldn’t be particularly relevant to me because I LOVE carbs and have no interest in breaking up with them anytime soon). 
  • Time-Bound: 7 days

If I did not put cutting carbs into the SMART goals formula, it may look something like this:

“Monday to Friday I can commit to cutting carbs, but I love them so much that I binge and gorge on the weekends with pizza, tacos, burgers, and not nearly enough greens or water. I then lose track and my body starts to crave the sugars and starched it has overindulged in on the weekend and then I make excuses and start to eat carbs once during the week, or only at lunch. Sound familiar? It may, because this does not follow any kind of SMART formula.”

The SMART goals can help you to achieve long term success because you are not bouncing back and forth, experimenting with new weightless tricks on a daily basis. You are forced to set a time and a measurement so you can see if the changes you are making are working! If they are and you feel good, stick with it! If it is way too hard to commit to but it is working you may want to tweak your plan to be something you can stick to long term. The goal for the New Year is not to simply make another pie in the sky resolution that you cannot achieve but to create long-lasting change so that you may live your life in happiness and health always. I hope that the SMART goals system is something that helps you to make goal setting a little more simple and clear. There is a reason many mental health, corporate, and health professionals use SMART to help themselves and their clients reach success. Cheers to you on your journey and a happy and healthy NEW YEAR!

If you feel like you are wanting more recipes, tips, and tricks to living your healthiest life, I have lots more tips where those came from. All of my meal plans include access to hundreds of recipes and short, easy, all levels workouts. If you have any specific recipes you would like or fitness program questions, always feel free to reach out to me. Thanks for reading I hope this information was useful and finds you in a space of the heart. 

Love and Light Always


“Sarah Savino is my recommended Wellness and Nutrition Coach who resides in Colorado but has a community of clients she guides and manages nationally. She has her frequent retreats that her clients are encouraged but not required to attend and someone who knows first hand how it is to be overworked and overweight. She is a living truth that once within the right community and with the right guide, everything is possible. She can be reached thefitphilanthropist@gmail.com and facebook.com/sarah.savino IG- the_fit_philanthropist ”- Dr. Shakib, your Irvine Chiropractor