Where are you headed in 2012?

For many of us this is the time of year when New Year’s Resolutions, our best intentions for 2012, begin to fall by the way-side because life has simply gotten in the way.

Maybe you decided you were going to get healthier, join a gym, cut back on junk food, move more, or lose weight.  But, when you make goals like this, how do you know if you’ve gotten there?  How long do you have to achieve your goal?  Is this goal realistic?

While its true that some New Year’s Resolutions are goals, most go unachieved.  So, what can be done to stop this year’s resolutions from becoming just like last year’s resolutions?  This is where SMART goal setting comes into play.   SMART goals are:

  • S – specific
  • M – measurable
  • A – action-oriented
  • R – realistic
  • T – time-based

Let’s face it…nothing is a better motivator to keep you on track than a looming deadline.  And when you know exactly where you are going it makes it easier to stay the course.

Let’s say you decided 2012 was the year you wanted to get healthier.  But what does “getting healthy” mean?  Asking that question is your first step in creating a SMART goal, ensuring that you will achieve greater health.

So, what does it actually mean to BE healthy?

According to most doctors the absence of disease is wellness and you are considered to be healthy.  Would you agree, however, that some people are healthier than others in the absence of disease.  And, this elevated level of health isn’t merely wellness, but a different category.

The quality of your health falls onto a continuum, is determined by specific measurements and falls into one of 3 categories: sickness, wellness, or fitness.

Continuum courtesy of CrossFit.com

Sickness Wellness Fitness
Blood Pressure
  • > 130/85
  • 110/70 to 130/85
  • 90/60 to 109/69
Body Fat
  • Men: >18%
  • Women: >25%
  • Men: 15 – 18%
  • Women: 20 – 25%
  • Men: 5 – 11%
  • Women: 10 – 19%
Bone Density
  • T-score: -1 to -2.5
  • (below -2.5 = osteoporosis)
  • T-score: +1 to -1
  • T-score: > +1
Triglycerides
  • >150 mg/dL
  • 100 – 150 mg/dL
  • < 100 mg/dL
Cholesterol 
  • HDL: < 40 mg/dL for men
  •        < 50 mg/dL for women
  • LDL: > 100 mg/dL
  • HDL: 50 – 59 mg/dL
  • LDL: 70 – 100 mg/dL
  • HDL: > 60 mg/dL
  • LDL: < 70 mg/dL

So, if your New Year’s Resolution was to get healthier, this continuum provides some SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE numbers to help you determine your current health and provide a clear end points or check ins along the way.  You will have to make some ACTION ORIENTED steps to elicit change which means building new habits and breaking some old ones.  And, remember, the R stands for REALISTIC and the T for TIME, so don’t bite off more than you can chew! Talk to an expert who can help you determine if your time frames are realistic for the change you want to create, be a support system as you create new habits, and who will hold you accountable as you work to accomplish your goal.

P. S – It isn’t a mistake that weight and BMI is not a part of the chart above.  While a large number on the scale or a high BMI is unhealthy, your percent body fat is a far greater assessment of your over all health.  Concern only with the numbers on the scale and modifying behavior to reach a certian number is an almost sure way to render yourself SkinnyFat.


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7 Comments on “Where are you headed in 2012?”

  1. […] How can you define health?  Learn here. […]

  2. […] How do I build appropriate goals?  Read more here. […]

  3. […] Read more about building SMART Goals here. […]

  4. Nicole says:

    SMART goals??? I definitely like seeing them in this context rather than where I typically see them! Saw your CrossFit stuff on TV – going mainstream I guess. Very cool.

  5. Jen says:

    Thanks Kathryn! I am so lucky to have an awesome support system that includes you, Dr Ryan, and the CrossFit Wicked community — it makes all the difference in reaching my health goals. 🙂


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