No Products in the Cart
Back in 2019 of the people who made New Year's resolutions 48% wanted to lose weight. A resolution about exercising more was made by 59% and 54% had a resolution about eating healthier. So if you have made a health or fitness goal for 2022 you are not alone.
The thing is most people give up or forget their new year resolutions after a few weeks. So how can you plan a resolution and make it successful?
GOALS! It is not just a hashtag. Writing and mapping out your goals is the key to successfully accomplishing them. Without a roadmap to follow how are you going to know what to do next? You will essentially be driving with no destination, feel lost, change direction and quit.
What most coaches, trainers and dietitians use to help clients to create a guide and stay on track are S.M.A.R.T. goals. So how do you create a S.M.A.R.T. goal?
Let’s use the example of the goal “I want to lose weight in the new year.” This is very broad, with no direction so let's follow the S.M.A.R.T. acronym guidelines to make this more realistic.
The goal should not be too broad. State how much weight you may want to lose as long as it is a realistic amount. But keep in mind that weight goals are typically achieved by forming other habits, so you may have to incorporate these into your goal. Setting a behavior change goal for weight loss might include specific dietary change or changes to daily activity.
Example “ I will increase my daily activity by walking 20-30 minutes every morning”
Your goal must be measurable. This is the only way you can track progress and make changes as needed. Define how you will measure progress and more so success. Some individuals with a weight loss goal may choose to track weight, caliper measurements, body fat percentage for fat loss, pant sizes or BMI. Some form of measurement must be chosen and tracked in a notebook, app, spreadsheet, etc. The key is to be SPECIFIC about the MEASUREMENT.
Example “I will increase my daily activity by walking 20-30 minutes every morning. I will track my progress using my step tracker and mark it on my activity calendar.”
The goal has to be attainable. Look at past goals and success. Have you been able to take walks in the morning before? Have you been successful at a weight loss goal in the past? If yes, how much have you been able to lose? If you lost 5 pounds that’s great but if your goal is to lose 40 pounds then it may not be realistic. Or if you've set a goal to exercise every day and you've never hit that goal for more than a few days, then a daily exercise goal is probably not attainable.
Keep in mind, that one you reach one smaller goal you can always set another one! But if you set one that is too big you may be discouraged and stop working towards the goal. Goals are called goals because they are hard, but they should still be achievable without being overwhelming.
Example: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes at least 3 days each week. I will track my progress by using my step counter and check my activity calendar once each week."
Your goal should be for you! It should be important to your life’s wants and needs. Ask yourself why does the goal matter to you? Do you want to fit in new clothes, do you want to lose weight to lower your blood pressure, or do you just want to be able to play outside with your kids?
Example: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes at least 3 days each week. I will track my progress by using my step counter and check my activity calendar once each week. Increasing my activity level may help me to lose weight and reduce my risk for diabetes. It will also help me to move more comfortably when I go to the park with my kids.
Every goal needs a time frame. Without a time limit you again may lose sight of your goal. The time frame should be a reasonable amount to allow you to reach your goal. For example, weight loss ½ to 2 pounds a week is reasonable but this depends on how much weight you have to lose. Also keep in mind that weight lose fluctuates, some weeks are faster than others and it is a bit of a roller coaster.
If a behavioral goal was set to help you lose weight, designate an end-date when you will check in with your progress and make adjustments or add challenges as needed.
Example: "I will increase my daily activity by walking for 20–30 minutes at least 3 days each week. I will track my progress by using my step counter and check my activity calendar once each week. Increasing my activity level may help me to lose weight and reduce my risk for diabetes. It will also help me to move more comfortably when I go to the park with my kids. I will re-evaluate my goal in 8 weeks and increase my walking time or make adjustments so that physical activity on most days of the week gradually becomes a lifestyle habit."
If you follow this guide for S.M.A.R.T. goals you can have one large goal for the year, but multiple smaller ones that you achieve first to get to the overall goal. This will allow you to continue to progress forward throughout the year!