Brittany Reese on December 22, 2016
As the new year begins, many of us are thinking about what we did or did not achieve this past year and what goals we want to set for the future. I am a big proponent of making goals for the New Year, or anytime for that matter! It’s a great time to reflect on the past year and make some decisions about how you’d like next year to go.
Many people may feel as though they set the same goals every year of “losing weight” or “eating healthier” without any plan or forward progress towards those goals. Others may make goals such as saving money for the future, paying off debts, building a career, or spending more time with loved ones. No matter what goals you hope to achieve in 2017, here are a few tips on how to get started on those goals. Hopefully, next year at this date you’ll be able to say you’ve achieved them!
Tip #1: Make your goals SMART!
I’ll use an example of one of my new goals for 2017. This acronym stands for:
Specific: What exactly do you want to achieve and how?
Example: I would like lose 15 lbs in the first 3 months of 2017 (1.5-2 lbs per week) by working out 5 times per week (5 days cardio with 2-3 weight lifting sessions per week) and monitoring my food/caloric intake.
Measurable: How will you know when you’ve achieved this goal?
Example: If I have lost 15 lbs between January and March of 2017
Attainable: Is this goal realistic?
Example: Yes. By losing 1.5-2 lbs per week I can achieve this goal. It is generally recommended to lose no more than 2 lbs per week for long term, sustainable weight loss.
Relevant: Why is this goal important to me?
Example: I want to feel more comfortable in my clothes and body than I do currently. I would also like to be comfortably within the normal BMI range for my height.
Time: How long until this goal should be met?
Example: I want to achieve this goal by March 31, 2017.
Tip #2: After setting your goal: Plan!
If your goal is one of weight loss, how can you help yourself after setting the goal to actually achieve it? Going with the previous example, I could make a workout schedule based off of my other obligations. In addition, I can set up a meal plan for myself weekly. In future blogs, meal planning will be discussed in depth.
Tip #3: Gather Motivation and Support
What motivates you? What is going to get you off the couch and completing that workout? Is it some inspirational quotes and blogs that you can read every day? Is it keeping a reminder of your goal end date handy and in sight? However you can motivate yourself, do it!
Another great way to help achieve your goals is to gather your support system. This can be your significant other, friend, family member, co-worker; whoever you can pull alongside to help you achieve this goal. If you know you don’t want to workout alone and are more likely to do a workout with a friend-see if someone is available to workout with you. There are also running and walking groups to join for additional support. Having your support system in place for those times when you really want to quit your new habits or just give up altogether can mean the difference between achieving your goal or needing to make it again next year.
Tip #4: Start Right Now!
Instead of waiting until the New Year or next Monday, start right now! Doesn’t matter if you’ve decided to pursue this in the middle of the day/week or late at night, you can start making decisions that can lead to you achieving your goals right now!
Good luck and stay tuned for more information on how to make this year the healthiest year yet!
Brittany Reese is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, group exercise instructor and food lover. Do you have questions or comments? Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you very soon.