Ixcela SMART Goal Examples

SMART Goal TrackerShort-term SMART goals support lifestyle changes that propel you toward your long-term wellness goals. Creating SMART goals will help you clarify your ideas, focus on what you need to do to accomplish a task, be more productive, and increase your likelihood of achieving your goals.

Download a PDF of the SMART Goal Tracker to log your progress.

Example SMART goal:

I will support my gut health by taking 20 minutes on Sunday to read through my Ixcela results and read the article Feed Yourself and Your Gut Bacteria at the Same Time

The SMART goals below are short-term, weeklong goals. Aim to follow the goals you create for a week and then decide if you want to continue to follow that exact goal or if you want to change your goal. For example, you could modify the foods included, the activity itself, or the day it will be completed.

If you have access to Ixcela’s Recipe, Mindfulness, and Fitness Libraries, use these resources to support your goals.

Nutrition Recommendations

Include a variety of fiber-rich foods daily

  • I will include 1 cup of vegetables (broccoli, spinach, onion, bell pepper, etc.) in an omelet for breakfast on Monday through Friday this week.
  • I will eat a piece of fruit, either an apple or a pear, as an afternoon snack every day this week.
  • I will eat 1 cup of berries after dinner on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • On Sunday, I will prepare a vegetable stir-fry with quinoa to have for lunch on Monday through Thursday. On Friday, I will have a spinach salad from my favorite take-out restaurant.
  • I will include 3 different vegetables in my lunches every day this week and enjoy a serving of fruit as an afternoon snack.
  • I will include 1 fruit-and-vegetable smoothie, like this antioxidant smoothie.

Include fermented foods daily

  • I will eat 1 serving of low-sugar Greek yogurt for breakfast every day this week.
  • I will meal prep on Sunday and prepare fried cauliflower rice with kimchi for dinner this week.
  • I will include 1 serving of low-sugar kombucha every day this week with my afternoon snack.

Add a variety of tryptophan-rich foods

  • I will exchange chicken breasts for chicken thighs on my shopping list this week. I will prep the chicken thighs on Sunday afternoon to enjoy them for lunch or dinner this week.
  • I will include ⅛ cup of pumpkin seeds on my lunch salad every day this week.
  • I will include 1 serving of tuna with lunch on Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Add B-vitamin-rich foods

If kynurenine is below optimal levels, create goals that include protein-dense B-vitamin-rich foods.

  • I will include a 5-ounce serving of wild-caught salmon with 2 cups of leafy greens on Tuesday and Thursday this week.
  • I will include 1 serving of light tuna salad with lunch every day this week.

If kynurenine is above optimal levels, create goals that include plant-based B-vitamin-rich foods.

  • I will include 2 cups of spinach or dark leafy greens with dinner every day this week, including when I go out for dinner.
  • I will prepare 10 cups of roasted carrots and sweet potatoes for dinner on Monday night and include 1 cup with lunch or dinner every day this week.

Add more vitamin-C-rich foods

Add protein-dense foods

  • I will include 1 chicken sausage link and 2 hard-boiled eggs with breakfast to ensure I start each day this week with 30 grams of protein.
  • I will eat plain or low-sugar Greek yogurt as an afternoon snack every day this week.
  • I will add a serving of quinoa to dinner this week in place of lower-protein carb options like potatoes or white rice.
  • I will track my meals for a week using a food journal or a food journaling app to get a better understanding of how much protein I typically eat.

Include foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids

  • I will eat ¼ cup of walnuts as a morning snack every day this week.
  • I will include a serving of fatty fish, like salmon, on Wednesday this week.
  • I will include fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, or sardines twice this week. On Monday, I will have salmon for dinner and on Friday I will add anchovies to my Caesar salad with dinner.
  • I will add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed (linseed) to my breakfast oatmeal on Monday through Saturday this week.

Include antioxidants and polyphenols

  • I will add blueberries, pomegranates, and raspberries to my shopping list this week.
  • I will eat 1 cup of berries every day this week.
  • I will make 4 extra servings of sautéed kale with red onions for dinner on Monday and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
  • I will review the food list in my report and include 3 antioxidant-rich foods with dinner on Wednesday this week.

Include purine-rich foods

  • On Tuesday, I will make chicken thighs for dinner.
  • I will make sautéed shrimp with rice and steamed broccoli for dinner on Thursday.
  • On Sunday, I will prep taco bowls.

Exclude purine-rich foods

  • I will have a vegetarian lunch (example: minestrone soup) on Tuesday and Thursday this week.
  • I will abstain from alcoholic beverages this week.
  • I will avoid dark meat (poultry thighs and drumsticks), duck, and beef this week and choose lentils, quinoa, and edamame as my protein sources on Monday through Thursday this week.

Reduce or eliminate caffeine

  • I will limit caffeine intake to 1 cup (8 oz/326 ml) per day.
  • I will exchange my usual second cup of coffee for decaffeinated coffee every day this week.
  • I will exchange my usual afternoon coffee for unsweetened peach ginger tea every day this week.
  • I will exchange my regular afternoon coffee for decaffeinated coffee every day this week.

Increase water intake

  • I will drink at least half my body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water (example: 150 lb. = 75 oz.) every day this week.
  • I will drink 2 liters of water every day this week.
  • I will fill a 20-ounce (600 ml) water bottle after dinner and drink all of the water in the bottle before eating or drinking anything else.
  • I will fill my 20-ounce (600 ml) water bottle after dinner so it is ready for me to grab in the morning on my way out the door.

Exclude foods that damage the gut microbiome

  • On Saturday, I will go through my fridge and pantry and dispose of all foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Starting Sunday, I will replace all inflammatory cooking oils (vegetable, soybean, corn, safflower, etc.) with olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Starting Sunday, I will replace all sugar-sweetened beverages with water or herbal tea.
  • Starting Sunday, I will replace all low-fiber carbs (white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc.) with nutrient-dense carbs like whole grains, sweet potatoes, quinoa, or berries.

Ensure your carbohydrate intake is supporting your energy expenditure

  • On Monday night, I will include sweet potato with dinner to support carbohydrate intake before my morning workout.
  • To ensure I get enough nutrient-dense carbohydrates, I will include 1 cup of berries and a serving of oatmeal with breakfast every day this week.

Add variety to your diet

  • I will add 7 different vegetables to my shopping list and aim to eat at least 5 varieties of vegetables each day.
    • Review food lists in your Ixcela recommendations.
  • I will have 3 different protein options, including fish, chicken, and lentils, with dinner this week.
  • I will include 3 different varieties of healthy fat, including almonds for a snack, avocado with lunch, and olive oil-based salad dressing with dinner, every day this week.

Mindfulness Recommendations

Prepare for quality sleep

  • I will set an alarm on my phone for 9:30 pm Sunday through Thursday to remind me to turn off all electronics and read before my bedtime of 10 pm.
  • I will start my bedtime routine at 9 pm to ensure I am in bed by 9:30 pm on Sunday through Thursday this week.
  • I will abstain from drinking alcohol from Sunday through Thursday this week.
  • I will play calming, quiet music and stretch for 10 minutes before getting into bed on Monday through Friday this week.

Practice mindful eating

  • This week, I will start and end my meals with five deep breaths and repeat the mantra, “This meal will nourish my body and satisfy my hunger,” three times both before and after my meal.
  • I will complete the exercise in the article 8 Simple Tips to Begin Mindful Eating before dinner on Tuesday.
  • I will put my fork down between bites during dinner on Thursday night. I will invite anyone else at the table to do this exercise with me.
  • This week, before deciding whether to eat a morning and afternoon snack, I will drink 8 ounces (236 ml) of water and assess my hunger.
  • I will block 45 minutes for lunch every day this week to ensure I have time to sit and eat my lunch slowly.

Try mindfulness-based stress reduction

  • I will wake up 15 minutes early on Monday and Wednesday this week to sit quietly and complete a stretching sequence before I get ready for the day.
  • I will go outside and take 10 deep breaths after lunch on Monday through Friday this week.
  • I will complete a 10-minute guided meditation on Saturday morning.
  • I will go for a relaxing 2-mile walk in nature on Sunday morning. I will invite my partner to join me.
  • When I get home from work, I will change into workout clothes and sit quietly for 5 minutes thinking about how I want to finish my day. I will ask myself the following questions:
    • What can I do to peacefully bring my day to a close?
    • What activities can I do this evening that will support my goals and make me feel accomplished?
    • What went really well today?
    • Do I want to carve out time for exercise this evening?
    • (Your own meaningful question)
  • This week, I will listen to calming music for 10 minutes after breakfast/lunch/dinner to support digestion and clear my mind before moving on to other activities.

Take time for journaling and logging

  • I will complete the following journal entries before bed:
    • Tuesday: Body scan and write
      • Close your eyes and take a deep belly breath. Starting from the top of your head, mentally scan your body. Once you have visualized how you are feeling from your head to your toes, write down your assessment of how you feel physically. Do you have any pains, tight spots, or tension?
    • Thursday: List five or more things that inspire you.
    • Sunday: Write yourself a letter. Include positive affirmations and words of encouragement.
  • To jump-start my week, I will take time for journaling on Sunday evening.
    • Journaling prompts: Why do you put effort into your health and wellness? What makes you excited to do activities that support your health?
  • On Saturday morning, I will read the Mindful Journaling and Logging resource in the Ixcela Mindfulness Library, complete one exercise, and then go for a relaxing 1-mile walk.

Fitness Recommendations

Increase activity

  • I will add intensity to my workout on Monday and Wednesday by finishing with a 10-minute cardio blast on the treadmill.
  • I will walk at least 7,000 steps every day this week.
  • I will increase my step goal to 10,000 steps on Saturday.
  • I will complete a home workout from the Ixcela Exercise Library at 6 am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (Choose a different workout for each day.)
  • I will go to the gym after work on Tuesday and Thursday and complete 40 minutes of strength training and 10 minutes of stretching.

Decrease activity

  • I will go for a 3-mile walk in place of an intense cardio session on Saturday.
  • I will take a rest day on Wednesday and spend 20 minutes stretching after dinner.
  • I will change my exercise routine from 6 days per week to 4 days per week for the next 2 months.

Include more restorative activities

  • On Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday mornings, I will stretch and foam roll for 15 minutes.
  • I will schedule a monthly massage for myself for the next 3 months.
  • I will wake up 10 minutes early on Monday through Friday this week to complete 5 minutes of light stretching and deep breathing.

Include varied exercises throughout the week

  • I will create a weekly workout schedule, including type of exercise, duration, and rest days to ensure I am adding 2 types of cardio training (Tuesday and Thursday) and 3 days of strength training (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday).
  • I will go for a hike in place of a long running or biking session on Saturday morning.
  • I will go to a new fitness class on Sunday morning.

SMART goals will help to set you up for success throughout the Ixcela program, but remember that things don’t always go as planned, and that is ok! Aim to set goals that will excite and motivate you, and avoid setting lofty goals that will cause stress. Check out the Ixcela resources to learn more about the latest research and how gut health supports athletic performance and everyday life.