Every year at this time we all vow to eat healthy and lose weight and make a list of New Years Resolutions that are typically blown by January 2nd. If you make SMART goals that are Specific, Measureable,Achievable, Result focused and Time measured, you will be off to a much better start with your resolutions.
Here are some examples:
I am going to lose weight, not a great goal. It doesn't say how much and in what time frame. I am going to lose 20 lbs over the next six months, SMART.
I am going to change my eating habits and eat healthier, not so great. I am going to plan out my meals every week, make a grocery list, go shopping and prepare dinners to eat at home 4 out of 7 nights a week,SMART.
I am going to stop eating office junk food, nope. I am going to bring healthy snacks such as snow peas, carrots and hummus; hard boiled egg; 1 ounce of cheese and 4 Triscuit crackers with me to work every day, SMART.
I am going to exercise everyday; great idea but as a goal, not so good. I am going to walk for 40 minutes, 3 times during the week in the morning before work, very SMART.
So, now you have some reasonable goals. That is still not good enough. Each goal needs a game plan. For example, on Sunday afternoon I am going to sit down with a recipe book and plan out my meals for the week, make a list and then go to the store to do the shopping. I will plan on cooking and eating those meals, Monday, Tues, Weds and Thursday.
I am going to schedule my exercise in my calendar and set my alarm 1 hour earlier than usual in the morning. I will put out my exercise clothes the night before and I will get to bed by 10pm.
If you spell out your REASONABLE goals in a way you can measure your success, don't forget to give yourself a reward to reinforce that positive behavior! Exercise, will soon become a regular part of your daily routine. The same goes for healthy eating. It takes hard work, but you need a good plan!
Allison Tannenbaum MS, RD