Well 2017 is almost upon us, meaning that you only have 1 more day to set your 2017 goals.
I have mixed feelings about New Year's resolutions… On one hand, it makes perfect sense to plan to EAT HEALTHIER and BE MORE ACTIVE after having spent the last month drowning in holiday parties and excessively indulgent meals. However, too many people set oversimplified, unrealistic goals for themselves, providing absolutely no specific plan for success, relying only on sheer will to do something that they fail at EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
I am going to be honest… I am pretty darn good at setting resolutions that I ACTUALLY succeed at. You want to know why? Because I set realistic goals that I know I can achieve and I make a plan that involves baby steps that extend past the month of January. Do you want 2017 to be the year that you actually achieve your New Year's resolutions?
Here are my steps to setting New Year's resolutions that you will actually keep:
1) First, ask yourself why you want to set a particular goal.
If your motivation is “because I think I should” or “I read it in a magazine” then stop right there and quit while you’re ahead. Setting goals that actually mean something to you is the first step in staying committed.
2) Start broad, then work down to be more specific. Ask yourself these questions:
a. What are you doing currently?
b. What would you be willing/able to change?
c. How are you going to change it?
For example, say my broad goal is to limit my intake of sweets. I need to start by looking at what I am currently eating and why. This tells me that I am currently eating a few chocolates every afternoon, and a sweet dessert after dinner because I am craving something sugary in the evening.
What am I willing to change? Well, I feel that the only reason I am eating sweets in the afternoon is because I am hungry/bored, and looking for something to tide me over until dinner. I am having something sweet in the evening because I always crave something sweet after dinner and I am Ok with that, but would like to approach it in a healthier way.
Now I am able to make a plan that is specific to my situation and my needs.
3) Set reminders to review your success
This will not only help you to celebrate your successes and make contingency plans when something goes wrong, but also to simply remind you that you set a goal for yourself. I think that a lot of people start off with the best intentions, but when life starts to pick up, it is easy to get carried away in the rip-tide of busy-ness and completely forget that you set a goal in the first place.
4) Be flexible and make it work for you
You have not failed if you are two weeks into January and realize that you need to adjust your goal to be more realistic. This is a healthy way to promote successful behavior change. Once you have achieved your more realistic goal, you can always try again to confront the larger goal when you have more tools in your belt.
Last but not least, it is always OK to ask for help. If you would like professional help in achieving your nutrition and lifestyle goals for 2017 contact me and we can start working together to achieve your specific goals!