Friday, December 30, 2011

Cindy’s Resolution Tips

Just in time for those New Year’s resolutions, Bellevue Club’s registered dietitian, Cindy Farricker shares some tips on how to set New Year’s resolution health goals you can actually keep.

Health and fitness goals top the list of most-common New Year’s resolutions, but as we all know, resolutions are easier to set than to achieve. One of the big reasons so many of us fail to stick to our New Year’s resolutions is that our goals are too big, too vague or take too long to achieve, leaving us feeling defeated almost from the start. In fact, about only about 70 percent of people who make resolutions are still sticking with them by mid-January.

A tool used in the business world that can be very useful for health-related goal setting uses the acronym SMART.  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time framed.

Beat the odds this year by following the steps below to help you set realistic goals that you can actually achieve.

The goal  “I want to lose weight” is too vague, not measurable, therefore, not achievable. And there is no time frame.

Alter your original goal” I want to lose weight” using SMART
S: Make it specific – “I want to lose 20 pounds”
M: Weight is measurable
A: Weight loss is achievable with lifestyle changes – what changes need to be in place to be successful? (decreasing calorie intake and increasing activity make weight loss achievable but SMART goals need to be set for each of these changes to ensure success. In fact, you may want to set several)
R: Is it realistic to lose 20 pounds? This needs to be appropriate based on your height and weight
T: When will you lose the weight by? Twenty pounds in one month is not an “achievable” time frame, so come up with a reasonable time line of losing 1-2 pounds per week.

Example of an additional SMART GOAL necessary for achieving original goal
S: I will decrease my calorie intake and only eat 1600 calories per day     
M: I will keep a food diary and record my intake to measure if I am eating 1600 calories
A: I will pack my lunch every day to avoid the temptation of eating high-calorie food
R: I will make prepared dinners at home at least 5 days a week
T: I will evaluate my intake records every Saturday

Learning to set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-framed will help you towards a successful outcome and a Happy New Year.

All the best for 2012.

Cindy Farricker, MS, RD, CDE
Bellevue Club Registered Dietitian

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