Create short-term SMART goals

From sleep to what you eat, your habits can help or hurt your heart. But not everything has to be a 180 degree change overnight. "Create a checklist for short-term goals, such as" I will not drink soda this week "or" I will avoid fried food Monday through Friday, "says Dr. Rivera.

A couple more CLEVER (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goal ideas He passes on to patients:

• Find a smoking cessation program or make an appointment with a doctor who can help me to quit within the next month.

• Walk 5,000 steps a day for the next 3 weeks and then increase to 10,000 steps a day.

• Sleep at least seven hours a night each month.

• Identify three causes of daily stress and try to eliminate or tame them

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