According to www.USA.gov, four of the most popular new year's resolutions revolve around eating, drinking or getting fit. It's a normal reaction as we look back at last year's memories of indulgent living (and maybe pictures of you with a muffin top or him with the brew belly.) Now that we are smack in the middle of January, it might be time to check in on your own resolutions and see how you're doing with them.
Like work goals, health goals--aka New Year's Resolutions--should be SMART:
So let's look at the perennial resolution--I Want to Lose Weight This Year. It has none of the attributes of a SMART goal, and unless you put more "meat" in it, it will most likely be on your new year's resolution list next year and in years to come. Now let's turn that "pie in the sky" goal to one that is more likely to be reached.
Specific: Instead of I want to lose weight: I want to lose weight every month.
Measurable: I want to lose 2 pounds every month
Attainable: 2 pounds may seem like a small goal, but it's very doable--and it adds up to 24 pounds in a year.
Realistic: Two pounds a month is a very realistic goal and it's very possible that you can exceed that goal. However, if you are starting a new job, just got a divorce, had a death in the family or other stressful event, it may not be realistic to make this goal. It might be more realistic to have a small goal that would help with stress management, such as taking a half hour walk, 5 times a week.
Timely: Having a goal with a time limit--in this case, one month--helps you take small steps toward a larger goal. An open ended goal with no time constraint makes it very easy to lose track of it.
Now that you have a SMART goal, you still need to make smaller goals to achieve it. What are you going to do to eat fewer calories and burn more calories? Some other smart goals that can get you to that weight loss goal of 2 pounds a month.
- I will take a fifteen minute walk at work at least 3 days a week and on Saturday and Sunday I will walk for 1 hour, either outside or at the mall.
- I will eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables 5 days a week. This doesn't meet the MyPlate goal of 5-6 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, but if you eat only 1 cup each now, this is a big improvement.
- I will limit sweets to two small servings a week. The important point here is "small." Define it: one small serving is 5 chocolate kisses, a fun-size pack of M & M's, a cup of fat-free frozen yogurt, 1 cookie etc. You set the rules you can live by--it might be 2 chocolate kisses a day.
- I will keep a tally to track my daily fruits and vegetables.
Now you have the tools to improve your new year's goals! Good Luck and see you at the river trail!