set a goal
New Year's resolution
set a goal
New Year's resolution
With a New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions. But as the calendar pages turn, what ever becomes of these great plans? New Year’s is a great time to think about what changes can be made to improve our health and well being but staying on top of these goals is equally important. Trying to change many things at once may appear to be the way to achieve the best results but by taking on too much most people succeed at little. One strategy to help achieve your goals is to make them tangible. Sit down and write out what it is you want to change. Look at what you want to achieve and set “SMART” goals that will keep you motivated on your journey.
What do you want to accomplish? The more specific you are, the more likely you are to achieve you r goals. For example, a goal to “lose weight” is not specific enough to allow the development of a good plan to guarantee success. The two fundamentals of weight loss are diet and exercise, so making a goal focused around these two areas will help you achieve the larger goal of weight loss. Start small; if you don’t eat breakfast make it your goal to eat something, 4 mornings this week. If you currently do no physical activity, aim for a 20 minute walk, 4 times this week.
If you have a specific goal, it will be easy to measure the progress you are making towards achieving your goal. Looking at the goal of walking for 20 minutes, 4 times each week, you’ll be able to see whether you have been successful at the end of the week. If you didn’t quite make it, it allows you to plan better for the next week.
An effective goal will allow you to develop strategies that will actively allow you to pursue your goal. Consider that weight loss in itself is not an action. It is a result of making changes to eating habits, food choices and physical activity, so an effective goal will focus on making changes to these critical areas.
Is your goal attainable? If you have trouble visualizing the end result, your goal may be unrealistic, so break it down into smaller goals until you can imagine the end result. If you have not been active for a long times, setting a goal to work out everyday is likely not going to be realistic.
Identify a time period for your goal. Without a deadline, goals don’t provide much motivation to accomplish the changes we want. It is important to have a large goal but also break it down into smaller, weekly or even daily goals to keep you on track.
Remember that the journey is a process that we will reach successfully by taking it one step at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Prioritize your goals so that you only have two or three that you are willing to work on.
Amy Parker is a Registered Dietitian who regularly writes food and nutrition articles. She graduated from the University of Alberta and completed a one year internship in the Calgary Health Region. She currently specializes in prenatal nutrition and is passionate about helping her clients have the healthiest babies possible. Her other areas of interest include weight loss, childhood obesity and healthy food that tastes good too!
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