Nutrition and Lifestyle, Uncategorized

New Years Resolutions and Setting Goals

Happy New Year! 🎉 (a couple of weeks late).. I wrote a series of FaceBook posts to help people tackle the idea of setting New Years Resolutions, or really goals of any kind during any time of year. I’m compiling them into this one blog post. They are geared towards fitness/health/nutrition goals, but the information can really be applied to any goal you have. Please comment and let me know if you find it useful! What are your New Years Resolutions?

If you’re like the many people out there making health and fitness their New Years Resolution, I have a little treat for you! The following are some tips and tricks to setting good goals and how to tackle them to succeed.

There are 3 key components you need in order to succeed:
1) Knowledge
2) Developing good daily habits
3) Accountability

The reality is, most people make a blanket statement of what they want to do or become in the following year, and thats it. “I want to be healthier” “I want to be more organized” “I want to be a better person”. These are all fantastic, but they are mere statements; dreams. And that is one reason a staggering number of people give up on their Resolutions before February. In order to be effective, we need to set a goal.

The difference between a goal and a dream is that the dream only focuses on the outcome, while a goal is a very specific outcome requiring systems, processes, and structures to facilitate and achieve the end result.

For example, here is a dream – “I want to be healthier”. You imagine yourself having lost weight, feeling great and having more energy. But how are you going to get there? What are you going to DO to make that happen?

A goal? “I am going to lose 20 pounds in 6 months by exercising 3 times a week, and eating more whole unprocessed foods”. From here you would outline your action steps under it, what kind of exercise schedule you will follow, where you will do it, maybe some new recipes incorporating those whole unprocessed foods. There is a plan to follow that will get you to your goal.

So how do you make a “good” goal? You need to have a SMART goal. (referring to my example above in parenthesis below)

Specific – what EXACTLY do you want to achieve? (lose 20#)

Measurable – you need to be able to measure your goal (scale)

Attainable – MUST be realistic (20# lost in 6 months, not 2 weeks. If you achieve success before your deadline, even better!)

Relevant – Choose something relevant and important to your needs)
-and-
Time Specific – Give yourself a timeline to accomplish your goal (6 months).

goal setting

Now that we’ve gone over how to create and structure your SMART goal for the coming year (see yesterday’s post if you missed it) let’s talk about knowledge. There is a LOT of information out there. On Facebook, Instagram, and forget about Google; there are millions of hits if you search for health and/fitness info. Diets to follows, magic shakes and pills to take, calories to count… it’s endless. And often overwhelming, confusing, and conflicting.

But here’s the thing, do you want to learn how to lose 30 pounds in a month using a fad diet… only to gain it all back when it’s over? Or take a shake… forever?

When you’re looking for information, consider the source. Is it a Facebook video or meme that you can’t tell where it came from? If it’s a website, or book, what credentials does this person have? Don’t take anything at face value.

Look for sustainability. Is it a “diet” or fitness plan that you can envision yourself incorporating into your everyday life? If it’s only something you can sustain for 30 days, what happens when the 30 days are up? Any change or program you start should have the goal that you can sustain it after it’s over, with the knowledge yourself to continue. Essentially the goal is that you no longer need a “diet” when it’s over. It’s a lifestyle.

knowledge

Next up… Habits. Why are habits important? Well, habits are essentially what make up the sum of your life. The habits we knowingly, or unknowingly, perform day in and day out are why our life is the way it is. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. That’s a HUGE number!

So you can imagine how establishing good habits is essential to creating a healthier lifestyle for the long term (think of those New Years Resolutions). A couple of tips:
Start small, make one teeny tiny change and stick with it for a couple weeks. I’m talking something that will take you 5 minutes or less.
Focus on one at a time! Trying to overhaul everything at once is not likely to be successful in the long run.
Trust the process.. yes it will take some time. But it will most definitely be worth it in the long run when you accomplish your SMART goal!

James Clear has a lot of fantastic information regarding habits, if you’d like to check it out visit https://jamesclear.com/habits.

habits

Accountability.

Basically, accountability is being responsible or answerable for an action. We all need accountability to achieve any goal; saving money, quitting smoking, weight lose, the list could go on and on. Consistency is key, and consistency is very hard to accomplish without accountability.

For example, your New Years Resolution is to go to the gym 3 times a week. First week second week then third week maybe your alarm doesn’t go off, or it’s really cold out, or you just don’t feel like going.. without someone holding you accountable it’s easy to stay home nice and warm. But WITH someone holding you accountable, you have an aspect of not wanting to disappoint them, and a little something pushing you out the door to the gym… and to meeting your goals.

You may be thinking, but I can keep myself accountable! Yes, some people have enough discipline to only be accountable to themselves, but this is the minority. One of the top reasons (if not #1) people don’t stick with and accomplish their goals is because there are no real consequences for their inaction, if they don’t have someone holding them accountable.

An accountability partner can be anyone, a friend, spouse, coworker, a coach, a community you belong to.. someone you can trust to check in with you and make sure you’re on track. Can be even more fun if your partner shares the same goal and you can be there for each other!

Accountability

Hope you enjoyed this overview of setting and accomplishing goals! Comment with your goals!

 

Stay strong, Stay beautiful!

Kerri

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