End of Summer and Back to the Grind!

September 10, 2019
Home 9 Blog 9 End of Summer and Back to the Grind!

Labor Day has come and gone which signals summer’s unofficial end and fall’s beginning. Many people use this time as a way to get back on track, most especially after summer holiday, vacation and most of all: the heat.

We all know that physical activity is important, and we hope you’ve taken time to read about both pre- and post-surgery physical activity. If you need a refresher click here. However, getting back into the swing of things can be hard, so we want to take the time to review a technique called “SMART.” Here’s a brief refresher.

SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym that stands for

  • Small
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound 

Using SMART allows us to be specific and providing quantifiable goals that we can measure ourselves against. Basically this is what we call an accountability tool. So how do we use this to get back on track? Easy, let’s set up a plan based on the below hypothetical scenario – perhaps it may be somewhat relatable to how you experienced this summer.

SMART Plan

Patient “Y” enjoyed a lot of fun this summer. With the heat, though, their activity level took a slip and dropped to less than 2 days per week of structured activity. Patient “Y” says this is because it’s very hot to exercise outside and there were many outside pressures from friends and family to attend events like barbecues, beach outings and more. Now that summer is ending, patient “Y” has noticed their weight increased by 8 lbs and is looking to set up a SMART Plan to increase their activity.

Goal #1: Week One Short Term Goals

Food: This week, I will pack all of my foods for away from home to keep within calorie limits.

Fitness: This week, I will walk a minimum of 30 minutes on at least 4 days.

Notice how each goal is small and realistic, nothing is “over the top extraordinary.” Also, notice the specifics in how we established these goals so that we can measure our success at the end of the week (this means we can measure our success within a certain time, ensuring it’s actually realistic!). If after week one you completed your goals successfully, then we’d suggest repeating it week 2 for continuity. That would mean you’d have 2 hours of fitness this week (and next week!).

Goal #2: Week Two short Term Goal

Food: This week, I will pack all of my foods for away from home to keep within calorie limits.

Fitness: This week, I will walk a minimum of 30 minutes on at least 4 days.

If at the end of week two you have completed both goals again, move on to week three’s updated goals.

Goal #3: Week Three Short Term Goal 

Food: This week, I will pack all of my foods for away from home to keep within calorie limits.

Fitness: This week, I will walk a minimum of 30 minutes on at least 5 days.

Fitness: This week, I will add 2 days of strength training at 15 minutes per session.

We added to the walking goal; notice we only added an additional day and did not modify the time. We also added a small strength training goal. That means if this week is completed, you’ll have added 1 hour to your total weekly fitness!

Goal #4: Week Four Short Term Goal

Food: This week, I will pack all of my foods for away from home to keep within calorie limits.

Fitness: This week, I will walk a minimum of 30 minutes on at least 5 days.

Fitness: This week, I will add 2 additional days of strength training at 15 minutes per session.

We will keep the goals nearly identical, only adding two bouts of 15 minutes to strength training. 

Goal #5: Four Week Long Term Goal

Weight Loss: I will lose at least 4 lbs between Labor Day and October 1st, 2019 by following my weekly short-term SMART Goals.

By using the SMART system, you give yourself the permission to be self-accountable, as well as set your own goals. Only you will know if something is realistic and achievable, or how much time you need to accomplish something. What you need to do is be honest with yourself, your schedule and the amount of energy you’re willing to expend on meeting your goals. And, with Labor Day approaching, that means cooler, more beautiful and temperate weather is here, making it much easier to walk outside and get fresh air. So down with the excuses and on to making a plan to get back into the routine that works for you! 

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