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Massage Today
September, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 09

Do You Consider Yourself Smart?

By Teresa M. Matthews, LMT, CPT

The acronym SMART is used to discuss goal setting. Goal-setting is key to changing our behavior whether mental, physical or nutritional.

We use SMART goals to help us obtain our fitness (physical) goals, and we use SMART to help us with our nutritional goals as well. For example, I set goals to keep me on track to do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day. I also set a goal to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

But, being smart is also good for our mental goals. Having a SMART mental goal does not just impact your life, but you have an effect on others! The question I will ask is, "Do you consider yourself a positive person?" Positive thinking is a mental attitude that allows our mind to have thoughts, words and images. A positive mind brings happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action.

What Exactly Is SMART?

  • Specific: Do you know exactly what you wish to accomplish?
  • Measurable: Are you able to assess your progress?
  • Attainable: Is your goal within your reach?
  • Relevant: Is your goal relevant toward your purpose in life?
  • Time-Sensitive: What is the deadline for completing your goal?

Specific

A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Because the goals are specific, you can easily measure your progress.

Measureable

When you measure your progress, you stay on track and reach your target dates.

Attainable

Goals must be realistic and attainable. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Relevant

To be relevant, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are willing and able to work.

Timely

A goal should be grounded within a time frame. If you want to accomplish a goal, when do you want to accomplish it by? A goal is not a plan; it's more like a wish list with a basis in reality. Then set short-term goals to reach that plan.

'With Our Thoughts We Create The World' --Buddha

Using the SMART objectives, we can become optimistic in our thinking. Being optimistic helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Being positive with others tends to be contagious. Let's think about being in a room with someone who is negative. You "feel" the negativity. Wouldn't you much rather be with the person who is smiling and thinking good things. Something as simple as giving a compliment (and meaning it) can make someone smile.

In fact, some studies show that these personality traits — optimism and pessimism — can affect many areas of your health and well-being. Positive thinking also is a key part of effective stress management.

The health benefits of positive thinking:

  • Increased life span.
  • Lower rates of depression.
  • Lower levels of distress.
  • Greater resistance to the common cold.
  • Better psychological and physical well-being.
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular diseas.e
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.

Having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It's also thought that positive and optimistic people live healthier lifestyles.

Here are a few actions and tips to help you develop the power of positive thinking:

Before starting with any plan or action, visualize in your mind its successful outcome. Always use only positive words while thinking and while talking: I can, I am able, it is possible, I can do it. Allow into your awareness only feelings of happiness, strength and success. Read at least one page of an inspiring book every day, such as "The Secret." Watch movies that make you feel happy. Associate yourself with people who think positively. Walk, swim or engage in some other physical activity. Think positive and expect only favorable results and situations, even if your current circumstances are not as you wish them to be. In time, your mental attitude will affect your life and circumstances. Positive thinking along with creative visualization attracts opportunities, people and the things you desire into your life!

Now you are SMART and aware of the power you have through your thoughts! Be SMART, be positive, be happy and healthy!


Teresa M. Matthews, fitness expert and world champion athlete, has 30 years experience in the fitness industry. She is the president and founder of Health, Wellness & Fitness Professionals, Inc. and is the owner of Arlington School of Massage and Personal Training in Jacksonville, Fla. She is a sports massage instructor for the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and was awarded the FSMTA 2009 Sports Massage Therapist of the Year award. Teresa travels the country teaching self care and wellness classes. Contact her by e-mail at with questions or comments.

 

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