Employee wellness

Use SMART to set, attain wellness goals in 2015
It’s a new year and you may be looking ahead as to what to accomplish in 2015. A new year often motivates people to make changes -- maybe you want to eat better in 2015, or be more active, or organize your house. But sometimes these New Year’s resolutions can be hard to maintain over the long run. We set BIG goals, and by the end of January we’re so overwhelmed that we give up on these goals altogether. Whatever it is that you’re hoping to accomplish, you want to be SMART about setting your goals.

A useful way of making goals more powerful and attainable is to use the SMART mnemonic:

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Attainable/Achievable
  • R - Relevant/Realistic
  • T - Time-bound

Here are some examples of how to apply the SMART Method:

  • Specific: Determine exactly what you want versus a vague idea. Examples:  “I want to get in shape” is vague. “I want to lose two dress sizes and 20 pounds” is specific.
  • Measurable: “I’d like to get lean for my reunion coming up.” This does not define or measure lean. What do you consider lean? “I want to weigh 180 pounds at 6- to 8 percent body fat.” This can be measured and tracked.
  • Attainable: To say “I want to lose 40 pounds in one month” is NOT attainable or realistic. Set goals that represent a challenge; don’t set yourself up for disappointment or discouragement.
  • Realistic: This goes hand in hand with letter “A.” Think about what you can achieve realistically in the time-frame you have set for yourself. Starting small is key. “I will take the stairs at work three times a week to be more active” would be an example of a realistic goal.
  • Time bound: We tend to work better and stay on track when facing a deadline.  Wanting to lose weight for a family wedding in six months or desiring to save money for one year as a down payment on a new home: both examples are time bound.  

When you set a goal, ask yourself if it meets all these criteria. Avoid setting large goals that feel overwhelming. You want to set specific, measurable goals so you can really gauge if you have met your goals or not. Set yourself up for success by sticking with goals that feel realistic to you!

Looking for more support in reaching your resolutions? Contact a HealthPartners Health Coach to help you stay on track. For HealthPartners members, connect with a registered dietitian or exercise specialist over the phone for free. Call 952-883-7800 to schedule your first appointment.

Weekly employee wellness texting program coming in 2015
A weekly texting program starting in January will give SPPS employees wellness offerings, reminders and lifestyle tips that will help put you on the path toward better health. The texting program is a partnership between SPPS and HealthPartners. You can register for these texts by texting "SPPS" to 77199. Texts will be delivered on a weekly basis starting Wednesday, Jan. 7. This program is completely voluntary. To stop receiving texts at any time, text STOP to 77199.