Many of us choose the New Year as a time to set new goals to improve our health. However, a healthy lifestyle is not something that is achieved in only the first month or two of each New Year The key to achieving weight loss and overall improved health is by setting goals that are realistic for your lifestyle.
To set sustainable and achievable goals make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Be specific. If your goal is to lose weight ask yourself how you plan to do that. Break it into several smaller goals that focus on both nutrition and exercise. For example instead of setting the goal to eat healthier, be specific, “I will drink herbal tea or water instead of hot chocolate.” Measure your progress. Keep a food log or write down how often you exercise.
Choose attainable goals that fit into your lifestyle. If you find it hard to eat a healthy lunch because you are too busy in the morning to pack one, set a goal to pack your lunch the night before. If you set a goal for exercise, choose activities you enjoy. Set realistic goals. Instead of, “I will never eat dessert again” try ‘I will limit treats to just once a week or only on special occasions.’ Try not to set your sights on trying to drop 30 pounds in one month. Instead set goals for small lifestyle changes that will promote weight loss and keep it off in the long term.
Make your goals timely by setting a time frame.
As you achieve these smaller goals you be implementing lifestyle changes that will promote weight loss and improved health. Happy New Year!
– Former Clearwater resident Simone Jennings is a registered dietitian with Interior Health