From the desk of Laura Foresta, RD, LDN... How many times have you come up with a New Year’s Resolution? You stick to it for the first few weeks, and then something happens to get in the way and throw you off track.
Here are some guidelines to help you set goals and resolutions that you have a shot at reaching. Try the SMART goal approach. This method works for any kind of goal, whether it’s for weight loss, work, exercise, or personal projects, to name a few.
S: Make your goals specific. The more detail you can put into your goal, the easier it is to achieve.
M: Make your goals measurable. Define your goal in terms that can be quantified, so you know for sure when you have achieved it.
A: Use action-oriented phrases and positive language when developing your goals. What will you do to help you achieve that goal?
R: Attainable goals are realistic ones. Start with the very first step needed to reach your larger goal. Approaching goals with small steps makes them more manageable. Little bits over time make a big difference!
T: Track goals to keep you motivated. When you track your progress and build in a reward system for when you achieve your goals, you are more likely to continue working toward them.
Here are some examples of SMART goals for weight loss. Long-term goal: lose 20 pounds I will walk Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6-7 p.m. on the treadmill at the gym at a pace of 3 miles per hour. I will eat a fruit with breakfast and lunch every day. I will make a weekly meal plan and grocery list every Saturday. I will keep a food and exercise log every day, and will track my fruit consumption and treadmill walks. If I have met my goal every day for 1 month, I will buy a new pair of walking shoes.
If you are not able to reach your goal at the end of your planned timetable, review the goal. It probably isn’t the right goal for where you are right now. Take a look at the things that got in the way of achieving that goal. Now brainstorm ways to overcome those barriers. Consider making one of your brainstorm ideas your new goal.
Happy New Year!
Laura Foresta, RD, LDN Registered Licensed Dietitian Laura Foresta is a registered, licensed dietitian with more than ten years of experience in the field of nutrition. Laura provides nutritional counseling in a variety of areas including weight management, diabetes, cardiac rehabilitation, gastrointestinal disorders and pregnancy. Individual nutritional counseling provides you with a tailored plan to meet your needs. Laura focuses on collaborating with her clients to develop techniques to help them make permanent change. Whether you are looking to manage your diabetes, cholesterol, weight, or want to be sure you are maximizing your nutrition, Laura's goal is to help you discover a healthy lifestyle you can live with.