Rationale of the Week | Which New Year’s Resolution is SMART?

Our December 29th Question of the week had over 77% of respondents who chose the best answer!

Before we start though, if you don’t want any spoilers and haven’t tried the question yet, you can answer below: Answer Question

Question: JZ is excited for 2021 and wants to work on some New Year’s resolutions.  Which of the following would be considered a SMART behavioral goal for the New Year?

Answer Choices:

  • I will check my sugars every other day before breakfast for one month.
  • I will exercise or lift weights even if I don’t feel motivated, for the next year.
  • I plan to avoid sugary drinks, chips and candy, and junk foods.
  • I commit to taking all of my medications daily and losing 3 pounds.

As shown above, the most common choice was option 1, the second most common answer was option 4, then option 3, and finally option 2.

Getting to the Best Answer

If you are thinking about taking the certification exam, the content of this practice test question will set you up for success. This question identifies if the test taker is familiar with SMART Goals. Get rid of weak answers first and choose the best answer.

SMART Goals

The SMART acronym stands for Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic and Timely. All of these constructs are important to consider when helping a client create a behavioral goal. By helping people narrow down their behavior change goal, making it as specific and realistic as possible, we increase likelihood of success.

Answer 1 is correct. 77.66% chose this answer. “I will check my sugars every other day before breakfast for one month.” This is specific (I will check sugars every other day), Achievable (not too burdensome), Realistic (I can do it), Timely (for one month). This goal meets all the criteria!

Answer 2 is incorrect. 3.95% of you chose this answer. “I will exercise or lift weights even if I don’t feel motivated, for the next year.” This is not specific (I will lift weights even if I don’t feel motivated), not Achievable (how are they going to over come lack of motivation), not Realistic (Hard to determine), Timely (for next year). This goal meets one of the criteria!

Answer 3 is incorrect, 6.86% of you chose this answer “I plan to avoid sugary drinks, chips and candy, and junk foods.” This is specific (I plan to avoid sugary drinks, chips and candy, and junk foods ), not Achievable (to avoid of the foods at once sounds very difficult), not Realistic (Hard to determine), not Timely (no time frame). This goal meets one of the criteria!

Answer 4 is incorrect, 11.48% of you chose this answer. “I commit to taking all of my medications daily and losing 3 pounds.” This is not specific (How is this person going to lose 3 pounds, what behaviors are they going to change?), Achievable (losing 3 pounds seems achievable), could be Realistic (Hard to determine), not Timely (no time frame). This goal meets one or two of the criteria!

We hope you appreciate this week’s rationale! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our Question of the Week and participate in this fun learning activity!


Level 1 – Diabetes Fundamentals 2021 Updates

This series is designed for health care professionals who are interested in getting started in diabetes education and for those actively working toward becoming a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. Each course in this series provides the critical building blocks and foundation for those entering the diabetes field. Plus, they prepare you to advance to our Level 2 Standards of Care Intensive Courses.

Join us for our 2021 Live Webinar Updates. All courses air at 11:30 a.m. (PST)

  • January 12, 2021 – Class 1 – Getting to the Nitty Gritty 1.5 CEs
  • January 14, 2021 – Class 2 -Nutrition and Exercise 1.5 CEs
  • January 19, 2020 – Class 3 – Insulin Therapy & Pattern Management 1.5 CEs
  • January 21, 2021 – Class 4 – Meds Overview for Type 2 – 1.5 CEs
  • January 26, 2021 – Class 5 – Goals of Care 2020 – 1.5 CEs
  • January 28, 2021 – Class 6 – Hypoglycemia, Sick Days, Monitoring, Foot Care 1.5 CEs

Instructor: Beverly Thomassian RN, MPH, CDCES, has been Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management for over 20 years. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF and Touro University and a nationally recognized diabetes expert.


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AccreditationDiabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.*  

The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.