Have you made a New Year’s resolution and want to make it a habit?
You’re not alone. Every year, people set goals wanting to change their lifestyle.
To get into action, the first step is to jot down ideas for changes you want to make. From this list, pick one that you feel ready to start. Then make it a SMART goal.
Deciding to lose weight is a goal that many people choose. To make it a SMART goal, focus on behaviour you will do every day, instead of the outcome (weight loss).
A SMART goal is:
Specific Decide what you are going to do and how to do it.
Measurable Keep track of how you are doing.
Attainable Pick something you think you can do.
Rewarding Think of how good you will feel when you make small changes.
Timely Give yourself a time limit.
Using the SMART guidelines can help you to set a goal that is within reach. Changing too many things at once can be overwhelming. To make lasting changes, work on what you can stick with. A SMART goal example is packing a lunch that includes vegetables at least three days of the week.
Once you’ve set your goals, think about what might prevent you from achieving your goals. This can help you plan ways to get around barriers. For example, if your goal is to pack a lunch that includes vegetables, your barrier may be that your weeknights are always busy and this prevents you from cutting up vegetables. To work around this barrier, you could wash and cut up vegetables on Sunday night and pack them for the week. It takes a bit of planning, but a little thought and time up front will help you achieve your goal.
Remember to reward yourself and to monitor your progress. Celebrate when you stick to your goal for a month. If your plan isn’t working, take time to ask yourself why, and adjust the plan so you can make it happen.
No matter how committed you are to reaching your goals, attempting too many changes all at once is not realistic. Set goals that you know you can achieve; achieving those goals can give you the confidence to set new ones. Wishing you a happy, healthy 2017!
For a SMART goal setting worksheet visit www.ahs.ca and search Setting SMART Goals.