2012 is almost here, which means (after gorging ourselves on holiday food) it is nearly time to make resolutions again.
How many of you followed through on last year’s list?
A significant percentage of the population will list losing weight as a goal, and, for the first few days or even weeks of the new year, you’ll work towards it, but the majority of that percentage will be off the plan by February.
Why? How can you change this pattern?
Simplify, and get SMART.
- Specific – Stating you want to lose weight is not specific. Assign a number, or a performance goal.
- Measurable – How will you know if you are on track to achieve your goal? Are you able to run a mile/ run a mile faster, or is the scale reading lower?
- Attainable – Do you have the means and the time to make your goal happen? Check your resources so you have no excuses.
- Realistic – Unless you live on the “Biggest Loser” ranch, a safe weight loss goal is about a pound a week.
- Timely – Set short-term goals within a long-term goal so you can check in regularly with your progress, and assign your goals to a certain number of weeks or months.
A SMART fitness goal will help you stay on track, in addition to providing smaller, more manageable milestones along your journey you can feel proud of.
Set up a rewards system for the small milestones. Treat yourself to massages, a new kitchen appliance, clothes, a trip, etc. so you have something to work toward at each step.
Sticking to a health and fitness goal requires a lifestyle modification; however, if you go too extreme, you are less likely maintain it. If you start out eating perfectly and exercising everyday, you might give up after one indiscretion. If you schedule breaks and cheat days, you’ll be less likely to fall off the wagon. Having said that, if you do fall off, get back on. You’re not going to strike out. This is your health; your life; not a baseball game.
The phrase, “lifestyle change,” sounds overwhelming. It brings to mind giving up things you enjoy. Rather than cutting out all the food you like and going to the gym instead of relaxing, just aim to do something. Make one change a day. That could mean walking to the store instead of driving, or having an apple as a snack instead of chips. One healthy swap each day can make a big change over time. And, one healthy change typically leads to another.
When you sit down to make your list of resolutions this year, make them SMART, and remember, something is better than nothing.
Happy New Year!