Did you know that January 17th is known as “national ditch your resolutions day” in other words, the day when most Americans have given up on your goals. Don’t let this be you. If your goal is to be healthier in 2018 you need an action plan to keep you focused on your goals. Get SMART about your goals: make 2018 a healthier New Year!
You’ve probably have a vision in your mind of how you want to be different. Losing weight, more exercise, and cleaner eating are all great goals, but with out a plan, you are doomed to failure. Like any goal, it is important to break your goal down into smaller, attainable steps that can be achieved over a long period of time. So that come December 31st, you will celebrate having achieved your goals.
If you’re ready to make a change, don’t rely on willpower alone; the key is to success is found in making SMART Goals an acronym for SPECIFIC – MEASURABLE – ATTAINABLE – REALISTIC – TIME BOUND. Countless studies have shown those who use this method are far more successful than those who make general resolutions like weight loss or stop smoking. Here are some qu
estions to ask yourself as you are creating goals for 2018.
S – Specific: Like any goal you have to have be specific and clear about what you want to accomplish. It helps to have the following questions in mind when you work on your goals.
- What do I want to accomplish? (Weight loss surgery? Daily Exercise? Improved nutrition?)
- Why is this goal important? (Improved health, less joint pain, weight loss, lower insurance costs?)
- Who is involved? (Myself, spouse, an accountability partner, ?)
- Where is it located? (At my house? At the park, At the gym?)
- Which resources or limits are involved? (time, money, insurance)
M – Measurable: You must be able to track your progress which is why measurement is super important. Questions like “How Many” and “How Much” help you determine the measurable outcomes of your goal. Attach a time table to your goal such as “I will exercise twice a week” or “I will schedule a visit to the doctor by January 31st to talk about weight loss” which make your goals doable.
A – Attainable: Your goals must be attainable to accomplish by December 31st. Think about what obstacles or barriers may constrain your goals and how you can overcome them. If you have a goal of having weight loss surgery, think about the money you may need to set aside now so you can achieve your goal.
R – Realistic: It is important to make sure your goals are attainable at this phase of your life. Do you have the resources, time, and knowledge to achieve your goals. For instance, you may not be able to exercise daily, but may be able to commit to exercising 2-3 times per week.
T – Time Bound: Having enough time to achieve your goals is the difference between success and failure. Think about how long it will take over time (now, in six months and a year from now).
Now that you have the tools to develop your goals, it is time for you to start writing and more importantly, start acting! If your goals involve weight loss surgery or other medical related appointments, don’t delay.