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CHRISTUS Good Shepherd LifeCenter Encourages Using S.M.A.R.T. Goals When Planning for 2019 December 26, 2018

Marshall, TX – A new year means new beginnings, and proper planning can make the difference between finding yourself eating quinoa or cookies come day 30 for even the most well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions. When considering ways to make 2018 your healthiest year yet, remember to set S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

“When the new year kicks off, we always see an influx of people who are looking to live healthier lives and either get into the gym or get back into the gym. Those who turn the January excitement into a sustained lifestyle of wellness almost always set S.M.A.R.T. goals for themselves,” said Kari Pickering, Executive Director CHRISTUS Good Shepherd LifeCenter in Marshall.

A common New Year’s resolution of “I want to lose weight,” is a commendable goal, but making it S.M.A.R.T. will help it stick throughout the year. Such a goal could be, “I want to lose 20 pounds within the next four months by exercising at least three days each week, eating vegetables instead of sugary foods, and being more active with my children.”

Anyone can refine their goals for 2019 by making sure each goal meets five simple S.M.A.R.T. criteria:

When deciding goals, you should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. This will help you to focus efforts and clearly define what you want to achieve. Answer the questions what, why and how in order to ensure the goals selected are specific, clear and easy.
Example: 20 pounds; More energy; Better fitting clothes

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Choose a goal with measurable progress so you can see the change occur. Show a specific target to be measured. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach target dates and enjoy the experience of achieving set goals.
Example: Weekly weigh-in; Fit of clothes

Know your attitude, abilities, skills and financial capacity in order to set goals that are in personal reach; otherwise you may not commit to doing them. Instead of saying, “I’ll lose 20 pounds in one week,” aim for losing one pound in a week and when you achieve that, aim for losing one more the next week.
Example: Four months to lose 20 pounds means losing just 1.25 pounds each week

“Realistic” goals mean “do-able” goals. “Do-able” goals mean the learning curve is not a vertical slope and the skills needed to do the work are available and the project fits with the overall strategy and goals. A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the goal better, but it shouldn’t break them. Devise a plan that makes meeting the goal realistic. But always be sure to set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement.
Example: Increasing fruit and vegetable and decreasing sugars in diet and three days of exercise

Set a timeframe for your goal. Putting an end point on your goals gives you a clear target to work toward. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now. Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.
Example: Four months

For more information or to find out how CHRISTUS Good Shepherd LifeCenter can help you meet your 2019 wellness goals, please call 903-927-6900.

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CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System includes: CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center – Longview (425-bed count); CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center – Marshall (149-bed count); freestanding Emergency Departments, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd NorthPark and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Emergency Center – Kilgore; medically integrated wellness centers, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd LifeCenter; and CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multi-specialty medical group, with more than 650 Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers representing 41 specialties in 82 locations serving Northeast Texas across 41 counties. For more information on services available through CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System, visit