New Year's Resolutions: A Dietitian's Advice for Creating SMART Goals
So, the holidays are over and maybe we overdid it again. Maybe we overindulged in the holiday cheer, cookies, homemade pumpkin pies and so on. The good news! It is 2017 and time to set resolutions for this new year. One of the most commonly set new years resolutions is to lose weight and become healthier.
Unfortunately an Australian study found that 2 out of every 3 people fail at their New Year's resolutions.*
Almost 60% of those surveyed in this study say that their resolution was related to health and fitness.
So why do so many people have a hard time sticking to their resolutions?
One of the most common reasons these people fail or don't stick with the resolution is because of poor planning. They either don't set a specific or realistic goal or they don't map out a plan to achieve that goal.
First thing we do with new patients at Advanced Nutrition Consultants is listen to their specific goals or resolutions (this time of year). We work with our patients to make those goals SMART:
S - specific
M - measurable
A - attainable/achievable
R - realistic
T - time-based/trackable
For example instead of setting a goal like "I want to lose weight this year", work with one of our registered dietitians to find out what a realistic & achievable weight loss goal is. This will help make it measurable. I want to lose 10 pounds. Make it time based by saying "I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of March". Then work with your registered dietitian to make it specific. Here at ANC we will help you make this goal specific and help you set a plan and short term goals to help you make those changes that turn into long-term lifestyle changes that allow you to achieve those goals.
Once your goal is set, first things first: write it down. Post it on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror. Write it on a post it and leave it on your desk at work. Set it as your phone's background picture. Make sure you don't forget the goals you set!
Next figure out the WHY. Why is this goal important to you? Are you changing for health reasons? Are you trying to set an example for your children or grandchildren? Whatever your reason for change is, don't lose track of that. This is very important. This will be your motivation down the road when you have made changes and maybe want to give up on your goals.
Finally, let others know what you are working towards and what little changes you are making to get you to achieving that long-term goal. When others are aware of these changes you are making, it helps you stay on track. So go ahead, tell you friends, family and even an online community, post it on your Facebook or on our Facebook page. They will help you stay accountable for your actions and can act as your personal cheerleader to congratulate you when you achieve your goals and help motivate you to get back on track if you lose sight of your goals.
And as always, here at Advanced Nutrition Consultants we are here for you every step of the way.
Yours in health and well-being,
PS: One of my personal New Years Resolution is to post on this blog more frequently for all of you! Stay tuned!