Quite a few people wake up January 1st and set out to improve their health by losing weight and/or eating better. The difference between the people who achieve their New Year’s resolution and those who do not, is execution of a plan. A fool proof way to achieve goals and be successful is to start with the SMART goal setting method; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Be specific. If your resolution is to lose weight, be exact. Say you want to lose 20 pounds before you go on your Spring Break cruise. If you have something specific to achieve, the goal seems more realistic. You will be more apt to do what it takes to get there. Make your resolution measurable. Rather than saying you want to eat healthier, set a goal of eating seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day. You will have a target to shoot for, and if the amount of healthy food is measurable, you will do a better job of keeping track.
The New Year is a fresh start and you may feel as though you can conquer the world. But, then reality sets in. Healthy lifestyle changes are not that simple. Make your goals attainable. If it’s not possible, that sets you up for failure. If you eat dessert every single night, then maybe giving it up cold turkey may not be the answer. A more attainable goal would be to have dessert only once or twice per week.
Be realistic! It is metabolically impossible for an individual to shed more than two pounds of body fat per week. Be advised: People who lose 10-15 pounds per week are usually losing water weight, muscle and a combination of fat. Healthy weight loss is gradual and steady. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week until you hit your goal.
Make your New Year’s resolution a timely one. Don’t lose another year to procrastination. Define a time line plotting how you want to achieve your health goals throughout this next year. Set specific days/months in which you want to achieve certain milestones.