It’s February, one month after declaring that it’s a new year, new you, new lifestyle…
You chose some New Year Resolutions to start the year off right, so, where are you now? Depending on what you chose as a resolution, now is the time where you may feel like you’re falling off the bandwagon and reality is starting to hit you.
There are usually 3 main resolutions that people tend to choose which are:
Now so far, these are vague, unrealistic and hard to stick to… how much exercise do you need to do? Are diets really worth it or even healthy? How much weight are you wanting to lose and when do you want to lose it?
So many questions and targets to try and work towards, so here is a way of making it easier for yourself and that can help you stick to your resolutions.
So, smart goals can be a more positive way of looking at what your goals are and can help you conquer your resolutions, here is what SMART stands for:
Specific – What is the goal you are trying to accomplish, why?
Measurable – How will you know when you achieved this goal?
Attainable – What will you need to do to ensure you achieve this goal?
Relevant- How does this goal link with your resolution?
Time- based- What is the timeline for achieving this goal?
Using these can help you pin-point what you really want to gain from your resolutions and how to keep up with them, here are some examples of how you could create your own SMART goals for the popular New Year resolution choices.
So many people vow that they are going to exercise more in the new year, this can include joining the gym, a fitness club or maybe even working out at home.
But what is the actual goal for this? At what point can you look back and think that this is what you wanted to achieve? It could be going to the gym once a week, maybe building it up to 3 times a week, still, it’s too vague and can be easy to just say, ‘Not tonight, I’m tired’ or ‘I’ve already been twice this week, I don’t need to go again’.
Now here is where using SMART goals can help, first you need to create an ACTUAL goal. Saying you will try to exercise more is a good place to start but why not sign up to an event? This will give you that extra push to have to exercise so you can take part in something at the end. This could be a charity run, maybe an obstacle course with friends, or if you are really feeling positive, a half marathon… So, as an example:
Specific – Charity 5K run
Measurable – Will you keep up with the exercise and still take part or not?
Attainable – 5 months of training (Likely to accomplish)
Relevant– Based on exercise (Training is needed and will help you while taking part)
Time-based - July 2020 (This is a locked in goal, so you know when the end date is)
By breaking the main goal into mini sectors, this can help you create a more achievable outcome and can give you that extra push to work harder and maintain your resolution.
So many of us are guilty of trying out the latest FAD diet that you’ve seen on TV, online, even celebrities advertise products and diet plans on their social media. But, are they healthy? A diet can mean so many different things, this could include cutting out carbs, (NO CARBS BEFORE MARBS) Veganism, South Beach diet, fasting… We have seen them all, but sometimes they can be too extreme and aren’t good for you.
Dieting doesn’t need to be unhealthy and so extreme you can’t actually eat anything, at the end of the day we do need carbohydrates for energy so cutting them out isn’t beneficial.
Specific – Follow a healthier food plan (Recommended by nutritionists)
Measurable – Set yourself a goal of 3 months or more
Attainable – Keep a food diary of what you have tried and use cookery books to try out new healthy meals to keep it exciting
Relevant – Links to a ‘diet’ change in lifestyle, just a healthier alternative
Time-based – If you have a 3 month food plan then you should be locked to this, then reassess when you get to your end goal, by then you will be used to eating healthier
Remember, even if you follow a healthy food plan, treats are usually allowed, because you don’t want to get boring. There are many alternatives to ‘treat or cheat meals’ which still pack a lot of flavour but not all the nasties involved. Take a trip to your local supermarket or bookshop to browse what healthy cookbooks are out and can help you maintain your new lifestyle resolution.
Now this has got to be the most popular resolution, you have just finished your Christmas binge and are looking in the mirror saying, ‘When did this happen’?
Either way, we have all been through it and usually stuff our faces in December while saying, ‘I’ll lose weight in January’ while we continue to enjoy many festive treats and drinks.
So, by the time January comes, where do you start? Or if you do start to lose a little weight, how do you keep it off come February? Again, setting yourself SMART goals can really help you determine what you really want to lose and where.
Weight loss links to the other 2 resolutions, exercise and diet. So, it may be best trying these all together, plus once you have determined your SMART goals for the other 2, this can help with this goal.
Rather than just saying I want to lose weight, the best goal to set would be improving your overall body composition, which comes down to body fat and muscle.
While incorporating a new healthy diet plan and already exercising/training for an event you have already started your weight loss journey, the right way.
Now let’s see an example of a SMART goal for this:
Specific- Lose 2 inches off arms, legs and stomach or maybe even dropping a dress size (Take before measurements and keep a diary of these)
Measurable – You can check your progress at home with a tape measure or again ask a personal trainer for help at your gym (Also, taking progress photos are a great help, it doesn’t have to be lbs you are losing, but body fat, remember, muscle weighs too so bare this in mind)
Attainable – This links back to exercise and a healthy diet, combining these is the way to achieve this goal
Relevant – The overall goal of losing inches off certain parts of your body will help you see what weight you have lost as well as toning up
Time-based – Overall time of goal can be when the active event starts, or just set yourself a goal for a celebration you could be attending in a few months’ time.
So, there you have it, how to introduce smart goals into your routine. We hope this helps and may even inspire you to start a resolution today, remember, you don’t have to start in January! The time is now!
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