It’s that time of the year again where we try once and for all to ditch those old habits and introduce some good ones. We may try to begin the year healthier by exercising more, eating right, sleeping more or shedding some of those extra holiday pounds. So, how do we make our New Years resolutions successful? Below are some SMART tips to help achieve your goals so that they last a lifetime!
SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
1. Set Specific goals: Create a goal that is specific. For example, pick a specific number of pounds you would like to lose in a specific time frame whether it is 5 lbs in 1 month or 20 lbs in 4 months.
2. Track and Measure progress: Write down your progress and track short term goals. They are easier to attain and provide constant motivation and positive reinforcement. Journaling is very important. Another way to measure your progress is to make you more conscious about your goals is to talk about it. Make sure you tell your family and friends what your goal. This way they can help you achieve it. If weight loss is your goal, you could join a gym with a friend to keep each other motivated. If better nutrition is your goal, then your partner could support you better by not bringing home certain foods you are trying to avoid. Developing a support system is key to attaining your goal!
3. Plan ahead and make it attainable: Make sure you are ready for this change mentally. You really have to want to attain the goal! Know that there are going to be barriers or obstacles that you may have to overcome. It’s also important to record potential temptations or situations may move you off track from your goal. Knowing what your up against is a big step to staying on track.
4. Stick to your timeline: It can take up to 6 months for this new goal to become ingrained into your lifestyle. Keep pushing forward!
A few other tips to helping your achieve your New Years Resolution Success is:
1. Reward yourself: Make sure you don’t get in the habit early on that this goal is “punishment.” This is a lifestyle change that will maintain for the rest of your life. You may slip up along the way, but the key is to recognize your mistakes and get right back on track.
2. Keep trying: If you are down because it didn’t work out the first time, then try, try again. You can start back up at any time!
Dr. Clayton Koganow BSc, ND