Health Education

ReNew You SMART Goal Setting

By Kelly Kristbaum, MSN, RN, APNP, ACNP-BC January 15, 2019

Have you made a resolution to lose weight? Studies show a ten percent drop in weight can improve your blood pressure and blood sugar numbers.

Ascension has personalized weight management programs that emphasize SMART goal setting.

Weight management programs that provide personalized options for weight loss are successful because they include nutrition, behavior, and activity. By working with a team of weight management specialists, you get the resources, education and motivation you need to achieve your weight loss goals. At ReNew You, an Ascension Wisconsin Weight Management Program in Milwaukee, WI, our team includes a nurse practitioner, dietitian, behavioral therapist, and physical therapist. See what they say about the SMART technique.

Tip #1: Use the SMART Technique

Have you heard of the goal setting technique using Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely goals? This is called the SMART technique. At the ReNew You program, our nurses, dietitians, behavioral therapists and physical therapists show our weight management program participants how to be smart about your weight management choices.

We often hear people say, “I want to be more active.”  This is a great goal. Now use the SMART technique by adding five question words (how, which, do you feel, why and when) to break down your goal.

The ReNew You staff applies SMART questioning as part of each appointment and class interaction. Eventually SMART questions become a habit and are part of your daily, mindful, decision making process.

Example: See how we can apply the SMART technique to the common goal of wanting to be more active.

Specific: “How exactly do you want to be more active?”

Answer: “I want to start walking with my co-workers at work who walk during their lunch hour.  This will help me get in more steps during the day since my job is so sedentary”.

Measurable: “Which days do you plan to walk with your co-workers and for how long each time?”

Answer: “All five days, Monday thru Friday for 20 minutes each time.”

Achievable: “Do you feel like walking five days per week with your co-workers is something you can achieve?”

Answer: “Well actually, I have a reoccurring meeting every Thursday during the lunch hour, so I may miss that day.  Maybe four days would be more realistic if I don’t include Thursdays.”

Relevant: “Why is this goal important to you?”

Answer: “Because I want to be more active and to have more energy during the day.  I want to be more active like my co-workers.”

Timely: “When do you want to start this goal and accomplish it?”

Answer: “Right now!  By our next appointment in four weeks, I want to be able to tell you that I’m walking four days per week.”

Now Review Your New Goal

In four weeks, I will be walking four times per week on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for 20 minutes each time with my co-workers during my lunch break.

Try incorporating this technique when establishing a new goal.  Hopefully it can help you break down what exactly you want to do and how you are to achieve it.  By being specific and focused, you are more likely to be successful.

See upcoming ReNew You classes and events >

Learn More About the Ascension Renew You Weight Management Program

The primary office is located at

Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – Elmbrook
19333 W. North Ave., Suite 304
Brookfield, WI  53045
262-785-2319

A satellite office is located at

Ascension SE Wisconsin – Franklin Campus
9969 S. 27th St.
2nd Floor of Medical Office Building
Franklin, WI 53132

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