June 8, 2022
-by Dr. Gawiak
As the Cabot Trail Relay made a thrilling return to the Cabot Trail this year, the communities were vibrating with excitement. For many of the individuals participating, this was not the first time they laced up their runners. However, they would have had to start somewhere. Trying out a new activity can be very exciting, but continuing that activity is where it gets hard. S.M.A.R.T Goals create a great guide to successfully reach our goals.
Prepare for success
When starting a new activity, preparation is key. Ensure you have the right equipment and safety devices, ex. runners, helmet. Mapping out routes can help ease anxiety. Find a work-out buddy or group, not only is it more fun together, but it keeps us accountable.
– Specific: Pick an activity or activities, ex. run, walk, bike, hike.
– Measurable: It’s hard to know how much flour a recipe needs without a measuring cup. Same goes with physical activity. Whether it is minutes, hours, days, having a value to measure your success is important.
– Attainable and challenging: If on our first day of running we set our goal to run a marathon, yes it would be challenging, but not attainable. However, if our goal is to walk for one minute every day, this would be attainable, but possibility not challenge. Having an attainable and challenging goal will allow us to be successful, but also grow.
– Relevant: If our overall goal is to be more physically active, having a goal that only includes daily mediation won’t allow us to reach our overall goal.
– Time-bound: Having a start date and frequency gives you an opportunity to begin your goal and understand how much of your day/week it will take.
Back to our original question…
If we are currently inactive, and don’t walk often, a goal might be: “Walk 10 minutes daily for two weeks then increase to 20 minutes daily.”
Attainable and challenge: Our baseline was no walking; 10 minutes would be an increase.
Relevant: Walking is being physically active.
Time-Bound: 10 minutes daily.
Check out this website for more information on how to get active: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/how-to-start-exercising-and-stick-to-it.htm.
Smile! Until next week be well!
Dr. Gawiak was a visiting medical resident doing a rotation at Sacred Heart Hospital in Cheticamp.