Every year, people make New Year’s Resolutions. I know I do. Here are some of mine from last year:
- Reach my goal weight of 105 lbs (I am 5 ft 2 in)
- Eat more nutritious and healthy food
- No late night snacking
- Cutting the amount of calories I consume
- Be more confident about myself
As you see, these are some common resolutions. Do not get me wrong. These goals are doable. Having goals helps people feel more confident and boosts their self- esteem. I am pretty sure that you guys feel pretty good after you accomplished a goal you set.
However, not many people accomplish their goals or meet their New Year’s Resolutions. Some resolutions are unrealistic. At times, it is better to set smaller goals to eventually reach your big goal. That is what I did NOT do. I did not have a set plan. It would have been much easier if I did.
What you should use is the SMART method.
S = Specific
Here is an example of what is NOT the SMART method.
Let’s say a person says, “I want to lose 20 pounds.“
That is great you want to lose those 20 pounds. But, have you decided how you are going to reach that goal? Are you going to be disappointed if you do not reach that goal right away? Sustainable weight loss takes time. Are you already at a healthy weight? It will be harder to lose weight if you are already at a healthy weight.
Instead, make a list of your long term goals and then your short term goals. List them in order of importance. The short term goals should lead to your long term goal. Be sure to keep the SMART method in mind while creating these goals.
Let’s say your long term goal is to lose 20 pounds. Here are some short term goals that will lead to your long term goal.
“I will lose 1 pound a week for the next 5 months. To do this, I will:
- Include more fruits and vegetables into my daily eating. I will stick to a 80/20 policy, where I eat healthy 80% of the time and not as healthy 20%.
- Create weekly meal plans.
- Drink more water throughout the day.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week. I will vary my workouts so that I do not get bored and quit.
- Park my far away in the parking lot so that I will have to walk more.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.“
As you see, that is a real plan for success if this person wants to lose those 20 pounds this year. Here is why.
- The goal is specific, measurable, and timely. This person wants to lose 1 pound a week for the next 5 months. They did not only say “I want to lose 20 pounds” and not say when they want to reach it. The time could be “sometime” which may end up being “not happening” due to the lack of planning and being specific in what they want.
- The goal is realistic, assuming they are overweight. Losing 1 pound is safe and sustainable. The goal is also realistic because they are slowly adding physical activity into their life, whether it is through daily activities or exercise. It will not be a sudden change in their routine.
- It is also attainable. This person is motivated and they will stay motivated since they will see results. Although they will see them slower, it is realistic and attainable. They will become more confident.
On another note, balance is important when you want to eat healthy and or lose weight. Cutting out all processed food and junk food can make one feel restricted. It could lead to binge eating later on. Creating weekly meal plans helps people keep track of their eating. And, drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated. Sometimes, people confuse thirst for hunger.
Exercise is also the other part to weight loss. It will help tone your body (weight lifting and pilates are a few examples) and help your cardiovascular system (walking, running, bike riding are a few examples).It will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes (unless you have Type I Diabetes. I will discuss diabetes in another post). Adding in more physical activity throughout the day helps burn calories.
With that being said, here are a few of my New Year’s Resolutions and how I will be successful in completing it.
- I will create weekly meal plans. I will create my meal plans every Sunday and do meal preparation.
- I will lean out my bulky muscles. I will do pilates daily, as it is known to develop lean and toned muscles.
- I will be more confident with myself. Each day, I will write in a gratitude journal. I am grateful for having a loving family. I am grateful for the friends I have. I am grateful for my strong legs and arms, etc.
What are your New Year Resolutions?
How do you plan on being successful in reaching your goals?