The new year is here! At the top of the list of resolutions for many is to lose weight and get healthy! While I am not a huge fan of waiting until the new year to start a healthy lifestyle, I am glad to see that at least for a majority of Americans, the month of January inspires some awareness of health and wellness.
For those of us who are regulars to this healthy lifestyle, the new year is simply a time to reflect on all the hard work and effort we put forth throughout the year. It is also a time to possibly think of other ways to advance on our healthy journey.
Now, for the many people who are new to the healthy lifestyle journey, it is very important to make sure that your goals for the new year are “SMART”. For those who are not familiar- “SMART” is an acronym for the five measures of a great goal. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed.
Simply put, unrealistic goals are unattainable! Here is a way to apply the “SMART” approach to your new healthy goal for the new year.
Make sure your goal is clear-cut and concise. Stating that you want to lose weight is too indistinct and most likely will never be accomplished. Be specific with the exact amount of weight you would like to lose and set a date when you will begin and an approximate time of accomplishment for the goal.
Find ways to measure your progress. If you do not consistently measure your progress, how do you know if you are on the right path? When it comes to losing weight, the scale should NOT be your sole means of evaluation. Use a tape measure to measure parts of your body and keep track on a weekly basis. See how clothes are fitting you. You can also measure body fat percentage with a caliper or any other tools available to you. Keep track of your strength exercises by writing down your reps and sets. If you are unsure of how to measure body fat/body girth measurements or want a professional to handle it all for you, invest in a personal trainer!
Do not set yourself up for failure! Wanting to lose 25 pounds in a month is an unrealistic expectation, and you will most likely get discouraged and quit when you don’t meet that goal. Be extremely honest with yourself when it comes to your set goal(s). Make sure that your goal is attainable! From a realistic point of view as a trainer, aim for a more attainable number like 1 to 2 pounds a week. Consistently meeting these small number goals over the long term can add up and keep your mindset positive to keep striving for more!
Realistic and attainable goes hand in hand. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic to the timeframe. Would you have enough time to exercise and prep your meals within the timeframe that you have set? Think about all the life events that might be coming up. Will you be able to attain your goal in the midst of everything else?
If there is no time frame for your goal, it creates a lack of urgency, and you might frequently put it off. Setting a specific time to have your goal accomplished will keep you on track and continuously push you to meet that deadline.
We all have goals but remember, without proper planning and realistic thinking they may never be accomplished.
Now ladies, ON YOUR MARK, GET “SMART”, GO FOR THE GOAL! HAPPY 2016!