Health Diary & Goal Setting

A health diary, journal or tracking app are useful tools to help you understand how your arthritis is affecting you. These tools can help you set goals and track:

  • How your activities or feelings might be affecting your pain or fatigue
  • If changes you make are helping

Get started

Download a sample health diary or tracking app to get started.

Set SMART Goals

Using SMART goals will help increase your chances of making permanent lifestyle change. A goal is SMART when it is:

S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – timely

For example, instead of saying “I will eat better”, a SMART goal could be “I will eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.”

Develop an action plan

There are many small steps in setting a goal. An Action Plan that includes the following information can help you go through each step to help you achieve your goal:

  • What do I want to try?
  • How many times each week? Which days?
  • What time of day? For how long?
  • Where?
  • Who will I tell about my plan?
  • When will I start?

Rate your plan

When you have your plan, ask: “How sure am I that I can do this?” Be honest in your answer.

0 2    3    4    5    6 7 8 9 10

If you answer:

  • 7 to 10 – My plan looks good!
  • 1 to 6 – How can I make my plan easier?
  • 0 – That’s OK, maybe I need to choose a different plan.

Need to make your plan easier?

  • Ask yourself, What makes it hard?
  • Think of many solutions
  • Pick one or two ideas
  • Try it out. If it doesn’t work, try another
  • Ask someone for help