So it’s the New Year and it’s the time we’re all thinking about resolutions and goals.
The most popular goal we set each January – lose weight. Of course, the health and fitness industry knows this as well. You’ll find aisles at the store packed with workout equipment, protein bars and meal substitute shakes. Gym memberships go on sale or at least they offer some great reward for joining this month.
The momentum for the first few weeks of the year is great! We keep us the strict diet, we purchase our gym membership and we tell everyone to watch as we finally lose the weight this year.
So how come we’re not a nation filled with healthy people living healthy lives at a healthy weight? How come 25% will drop their New Year’s resolution by next Wednesday? 60% will stick with it through June and then fall off the bandwagon. 5% will actually succeed and lose some pounds but 95% of those will gain it back. Why?? What’s the big mystery to keeping a goal or resolution?
We don’t plan to succeed. We have the best of intentions but you can’t lose weight just because it was a good idea to do so. You don’t actually reach any goal based on hopes and dreams.
The key is to be S.M.A.R.T. Each goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Using this principle can help us reach any goal, not just goals concerning our health.
Here we go; I’ll use my health goal as an example. I have joined the masses this year and have decided to take off some weight. When I was going through the weeks of information classes for the clinical study I’m in (I also talked about this fibromyalgia study here and here) we talked about our different medications. All three of the meds I take have weight gain listed as a common side effect. Great, huh?? It kind of left me feeling defeated but I decided just to accept the hand I’ve been dealt and even though it may be a bit harder struggle I’m going to make it happen.
Now let’s see if it’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Specific – I plan to lose 50 pounds
Measurable – I own a scale, and I’m not afraid to use it
Attainable – A pound a week is a pretty realistic goal
Relevant – The loss of extra weight decreases so many risks of diseases, let alone the fact that less weight and better muscle tone will make it easier on my body for my overall pain – so it’s very relevant to my life
Time-bound – I will reach this goal by Dec. 31, 2014
Well, I guess it meets the S.M.A.R.T. test but I also think there is one more step after that. You have to get the tools in place. I signed up for sparkpeople.com as a way to track my dietary intake.
What goals do you want to make for 2014? Whatever they are for – health, finances, career; anything at all – make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T.!
I wish you all a wonderful 2014!
Stay well! ~ Live Joyfully!