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October 2005 after the first frost and summer grasses had turned brown.  The growth of winter grasses was delayed by the drought.

Let’s Get SMART

Column #175

We all make resolutions, but how often do we follow through? Is there more to it then just saying I want to be healthier, thinner, live longer, or exercise more? It turns out that unless we’re smart, the odds of success fall by the wayside.

A couple days ago Dave Pratt from Ranch Management Consultants published a terrific article about making resolutions which reminded me about the importance of SMART. It’s a management concept established by George T. Doran in an article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” It was originally published in the November 1981 issue of “Management Review.”

Here’s what his SMART acronym stands for:
●    Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
●    Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
●    Assignable and Actionable – specify who will do it.
●    Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
●    Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

The way I figure it, if ranchers need SMART, maybe health conscience consumers need it too. So how can we be smart this year and make better resolutions than the old favorites which rarely survived past the chocolates of Valentine’s Day?

For starters we must have a SPECIFIC goal. Science has proven that low Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) ratios are associated with stronger immune systems, sharper brain function, better nervous systems, less pain, and lower incidences of chronic diseases. Therefore our resolution goal is “I want to lower my EFA ratio.”

But just declaring we want a lower ratio doesn’t give us a MEASURABLE target. This step requires the data from the Omega-3 Test which is inexpensive ($99: see link below) and easy to take at home. With data we can set our measurable goals. The first goal should be to lower our EFA ratio to less than 4:1 because studies strongly indicate that chronic diseases are far more prevalent above that ratio. The second target is getting it down below 2:1, a ratio that even inhibits cancerous growths!

Are these goals ASSIGNABLE and ACTIONABLE? Science has proven that our personal EFA ratios are determined by the EFA ratios of our diet. Therefore we can be personally responsible for executing our resolution. Obtaining the proper food is also within our capabilities. So the plan is actionable.

Since the majority of Americans have EFA ratios between 7:1 and 9:1 (using the red blood cell test), we must make sure our lower EFA targets are REALISTIC. Scientific studies and anecdotal evidence have proven that people with high ratios can lower their ratios to less than 2:1. Therefore our targets are not pie in the sky.

Can our goal be achieved in a reasonable TIME? The U.S. Military tested troops for how long it took them to lower their average 7:1 EFA ratios to less than 4:1. It took five weeks! In ten weeks EFA ratios were less than 3:1. Therefore in about 15 weeks, or less than four months, EFA ratios can be lowered from 7:1 to less than 2:1. This requires three Omega-3 Test dates: start, five weeks, and 15 weeks.

By being SMART we can develop a working resolution. In this case our general goal is to improve health, lessen pain, strengthen nerves and the immune system, heighten brain function, and maybe lose some weight. The good news is that with one very specific goal, which is to lower our EFA ratio below 2:1 in four months, many of our other health goals can be reached.

Of course it’s your option to add in some exercise, proper sleep, and meditation. They are not required for lowering the EFA ratio although they help overall health.

Now, with your SMART New Year’s Resolution, the odds of it lasting past Valentine’s and beyond are much higher.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don’t miss these links for additional reading:

Smart Resolutions by Dave Pratt

SMART - Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely from Free Management Books

Blood Fatty Acid Changes in Healthy Young Americans in Response to a 10-week Diet That Increased N-3 and Reduced N-6 Fatty Acid Consumption: a Randomised Controlled Trial by Andrew J. Young et.al.

Red Blood Cell (Erythrocytes) from Wikipedia

The Importance of the Ratio of Omega 6 Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids by Artemis Simopoulos M.D.

Ted Slanker’s Omega-3 Blood Test

Get Your Own Omega-3 Blood Test and use slanker as a code for a discount

Food Analysis: GI, GL, Fat Ratio, Nutrient Load by Ted Slanker

How Fast Can the EFA Ratio Change? By Ted Slanker


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