Goal Setting and Accountability: Introduction

Families, Food and Fitness October 27, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Goal Setting and Accountability Learning Lesson

The Self-Learning segments provide an in-depth look at important topics within each of the Families, Food, and Fitness areas. Each learning area is made up of multiple sections that may take more time than other material on the site to complete. Because the learning areas present more information, we suggest you set aside 15 – 30 minutes to enjoy the full benefit of each Self-Learning segment.

Setting goals for yourself creates an air of motivation and can be a great catalyst for change. Mississippi in Motion has set the goal of ½ to 2 lbs lost per week, but your personal goals may be far more involved. Let’s discuss how to intelligently set goals unique to your needs and create the proper environment to achieve those goals.

First, let’s begin with your ultimate, or long-term, goal. This is what you want to achieve in the long run. It may take up to a year or more to get there, but it is well worth your effort. Your short-term goal is what you need to do over the next few weeks that will take you step-by-step to that long-term goal.

Often we aim for the long-term goal, such as, “I want to lose 60 pounds in 6 months.” But many of us get overwhelmed and frustrated by the expectation we've created for ourselves. Instead, you can create more gradual goals that offer rewards one step at a time, such as “I will walk 20 minutes every day.” Over time, you may see how that burn in your thighs from walking regularly translates to fewer pounds and brings you closer to that 60-pound reduction that was your long-term goal. Let’s formulate short-term goals that naturally lead to long-term goals and see if we can make them all a reality.

In this lesson, you will:

  • Identify your personal goals for a program
  • Determine if your goals are S.M.A.R.T
  • Make a plan to be accountable

Lesson Contents
I. Introduction
II. Identifying Long and Short Term Goals
III. S.M.A.R.T Goals

a. Making Goals Specific
b. Making Goals Measurable
c. Making Goals Action-Oriented
d. Making Goals Realistic
e. Making Goals Time-Framed

IV. Making Yourself Accountable


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.