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Making a S.M.A.R.T. Plan

Consider the JOY of learning.

 Celebrate your opportunity to embrace new ways of thinking, acting, and doing.

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When it comes to improving our health, we all know what we are supposed to do—eat healthy and move more. It sounds easy enough, but getting started can be tough. A good plan can be a step in the right direction, serving as a personal road map. The key to success—set up a S.M.A.R.T. PLAN.


Specific                        Be precise about what you expect to achieve.


Measurable                   Include amounts, times, days and other milestones for

                                          gauging success.


Achievable                    Be reasonable; is your plan attainable given what is

                                          Presently happening in your life?


Relevant                       Be sure your plan is meaningful/important to you.


Trackable                      Record your progress regularly to measure your achievements.           


Here is an example of a NOT-SO-S.M.A.R.T. and a S.M.A.R.T. fitness plan which focuses on activity:


NOT-SO-S.M.A.R.T. Plan:

I haven’t been doing any type of activity, so this week I will exercise for an hour every day.


Plan Check List:


Is it specific?                   No, you didn’t specify what activity you plan to do nor when you intend to do it.

Is it measurable?              Yes, one hour every day.

Is it achievable?               Probably not. Where will you suddenly find a free hour every day for activity? If you’ve been inactive, a whole hour of activity may be a set-up for a painful experience such as sore muscles or a possible injury.

Is it relevant?                   Probably not, sounds like overkill.

Is it trackable?                 No, you don’t have a plan for keeping a record of your activity.


S.M.A.R.T. Plan:

I will walk 3 days this week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 20 minutes each day. I will do this at 6:00 a.m. before work. This plan will work for me because I enjoy walking and I’m a “morning person.” I don’t have anyone at home that needs my attention at that time. My neighbor will join me for these walks. We have been walking partners in the past. I will record my minutes of walking in my FOOD & ACTIVITY JOURNAL.


Plan Check List:                                       

Is it specific?                     Yes, walking is the specified activity and it’s planned for the a.m.

Is it measurable?              Yes, 3 days a week for 20 minutes.

It it achievable?                 Yes, I have walked with my neighbor in the past.

Is it relevant?                     Yes, walking is an activity I enjoy.

Is it trackable?                   Yes, I will record my walking in my FOOD & ACTIVITY JOURNAL.


Throughout this website you will be designing S.M.A.R.T. plan for yourself. They will guide you on your path to a healthier lifestyle. Stop and take ten minutes now to set up a S.M.A.R.T. fitness plan for this week. The key is to be as specific and realistic as possible.


S.M.A.R.T. fitness plan for this week:



What activity (s) will I do?


What time of day will I do it?






How many days will I exercise?



Which days will I exercise?



How many minutes will I do it for?





Is this plan realistic given my schedule this week? Consider time constraints and abailable support.




How will I “trigger” myself to remember to do it?




Is this an activity I enjoy?


Can I make it a priority this week?





Where will I record my activity?




Source:  Smart CHOICES for Health

By Sandy S. Miller, MS, RD, LD

Providence Health System

Health Resource Center

9205 SW Barnes Road

Portland, OR  97225

(503) 216-2655   For a PDF version of this PLAN Making a Smart Plan-black.pdf

To learn how to be a skilled self-manager, see the Change? Who me? How section. The example above, focused on creating a more active lifestyle. You can also PLAN changes for other Essential Skills.

To USE the stages of change process to help you make changes in any area of your life, see:

Remember too, What are the Challenges That Derail Your Achieving a Healthier Weight...

 and How Can You Overcome Them?

             Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!