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Diet & Lifestyle

6 Tips to Stay on Track With Health And Wellness Goals

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Written by
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Alex Keller, ND

When it comes to health and wellness, many people commonly set lifestyle-related goals, such as engaging in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, moderating alcohol intake, and following a consistent dietary supplement regimen. Whether your intention is to improve your general well being or to achieve a specific health outcome, complying with a wellness plan for an extended period of time is essential to achieving results.

In this article, we provide an overview of goal-setting using the SMART approach as well as six easy tips to stay on track with your supplement regimen.

What are health goals?

The definition of health goals broadly includes the determination of a desirable state of affairs in terms of health promotion and/or disease prevention. (6) Health goals may be applicable to individuals or to a group, such as with government health policy. On the individual level, health and fitness goals include those you set for yourself, as well as any protocol that has been developed with your healthcare provider(s).

Individual health goals may target various aspects of health, including:

  • Disease prevention or risk reduction
  • Disease management
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Physical fitness
  • Substance use (e.g., alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco)
  • Weight management

Social support from family and friends may help you stay on track with your health goals.

What are SMART health goals?

Developed in 1981 by George T. Doran, SMART is a set of criteria that was originally created to improve management goals and objectives. (2) Since then, the concept has been applied to areas outside of the workforce, including personal and health goals. 

The acronym represents five criteria that can be used to improve an individual’s success in meeting their goals, which include:

  • Specific: the goal targets a specific area for improvement (e.g., reducing blood pressure levels to less than 120 mmHg/80 mmHg)
  • Measurable: the goal quantifies or suggests an indicator of progress (e.g., weekly blood pressure measurement)
  • Attainable: the goal is achievable
  • Realistic: the goal states which results can realistically be achieved based on resources  (e.g., the target blood pressure levels are realistic based on following your recommended supplement protocol and diet)
  • Time-related: the goal specifies when the result(s) can be achieved (e.g., within six weeks) (2)(5)

Goal setting: applying the SMART criteria to your wellness plan

Keep the SMART criteria in mind when working with your practitioner to develop your wellness plan. Research suggests that when a healthcare plan is tailored to the individual, adherence to the plan is higher. One study examined the effects of oral nutrition supplements (ONS) in hospital outpatients. The majority of patients included in the trial were able to select the flavor of ONS prescribed. Results demonstrate that adherence to the supplement protocol was high at over 76%. The researchers suggest that the high adherence rate was partly due to healthcare practitioners individually tailoring prescriptions, as well as the individuals having positive experiences with the ONS. (3)

In the example of high blood pressure above, a health goal that may be considered less effective would be “I will reduce my blood pressure levels.” In comparison, the SMART health goal becomes “I will reduce my blood pressure levels to less than 120 mmHg/80 mmHg within six weeks. I will do so by following my diet and supplement protocol, and I will monitor my progress by measuring my blood pressure every Friday.” Your healthcare practitioner can help you determine a realistic goal and advise on the resources or lifestyle modifications that will help you achieve the goal.

Using a pill box or carrying case can help you stay organized with your supplements.

6 tips to stay on track with your supplement regimen

With an integrative wellness plan, your health goals may commonly include a dietary supplement regimen. You can improve the effectiveness of your supplement plan by following it consistently. Here are some simple tips you can implement to help you stay on track.

1. Set reminders

As a reminder to take your supplements, set notifications on your phone, or use a paper calendar with checkboxes. This can also serve as a reminder to take your supplements at a consistent time each day if necessary.

2. Use a pillbox

Use a pillbox or carrying case to stay organized. A pillbox can help ensure you take your supplements for the week, even when you’re on the go, at work, or travelling. In order to maintain freshness, we recommend only keeping up to a week’s supply in the case and consulting individual supplement labels for specific storage instructions.

3. Check your refill reminders

If you aren’t certain how often you will need to re-order your supplements, Fullscript’s refill reminder emails can help. We’ve designed our refill reminders to notify you when your supplement supply is expected to be running low based on the recommended dosage. The reminder email includes a link to view the recommendation in your Fullscript account, where you can place a refill order.

4. Sign up for autoship

Take advantage of the Fullscript autoship feature. This is an optional feature that allows you to set up automated orders for the dietary supplements you require on a recurring basis, helping you keep your supplement supply stocked at all times. This also frees up your time by eliminating the need to go online or call to re-order. For more information, see autoship with Fullscript.

5. Seek social support

If you’re comfortable, speak with your family members and loved ones about your wellness plan. They may be able to support your health goals by helping you stay motivated and engaged. Having social support while making dietary or lifestyle changes can also make the transition easier.

A study examined the impact of a supportive partner on adherence to a dietary supplement protocol in pregnant women. Participants in the study who had social support at home reported higher adherence support, which was positively associated with calcium supplementation adherence. (4)

6. Check in with your practitioner

Speak with your integrative healthcare practitioner regularly to obtain additional guidance or clarification about dietary supplements included in your wellness plan. 

A study on long-term adherence to calcium and vitamin D supplementation evaluated the impact of a patient motivation strategy consisting of follow-up visits every six months. The results suggest that scheduling follow-up visits every six months was associated with increased adherence to the supplement regimen. (1)

The bottom line

Setting health and wellness goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-related (SMART) may help increase your success. When following a dietary supplement regimen, implement the tips outlined above to help you stay on track.

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  1. Conti, F., Piscitelli, P., Italiano, G., Parma, A., Caffetti, M. C., Giolli, L., … Brandi, M. L. (2012). Adherence to calcium and vitamin D supplementations: Results from the ADVICE Survey. Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, 9(3), 157–160.
  2. Doran, G. T. (1981). There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Management Review (AMA FORUM), 70(11), 35–36.
  3. Liljeberg, E., Andersson, A., Malmberg, K. B., & Nydahl, M. (2019). High adherence to oral nutrition supplements prescribed by dietitians: A cross-sectional study on hospital outpatients. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 34(6), 887–898.
  4. Martin, S. L., Omotayo, M. O., Pelto, G. H., Chapleau, G. M., Stoltzfus, R. J., & Dickin, K. L. (2017). Adherence-specific social support enhances adherence to calcium supplementation regimens among pregnant women. The Journal of Nutrition, 147(4), 688–696.
  5. Ogbeiwi, O. (2017). Why written objectives need to be really SMART. British Journal of Healthcare Management, 23(7), 324–336.
  6. Spasoff, R. A. (2020, January 16). In Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/health-goals

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At Fullscript, we are committed to curating accurate, and reliable educational content for practitioners and patients alike. Our educational offerings cover a broad range of topics related to integrative medicine, such as supplement ingredients, diet, lifestyle, and health conditions.

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