Setting a goal or resolution is the most important step in evaluating your healthy living plan and I felt as if it was a great first step in wellness.
In this discussion, I want each of us to really think about what we are wanting to work towards in the new year, health and wellness wise.
Most people know of a “SMART Goal.” That is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. (Get it, SMART.) Studies have shown that usually people do not complete goals without substance because they:
1) aren’t specific enough
2) can’t be measured at the end
5) have no completion time.
Start small and work up towards the other areas of the SMART Goal. I will provide some common ones as examples, but you have the freedom to create your own.
- Lose weight
- Get stronger/“Tone up”
- Change my diet
- Focus on spiritual health
After picking your specific goal, it is time to ask: can it be measured?
- Lose weight – measured in pounds or inches lost
- Get stronger/“Tone up” – measured in strength of weight lifted/repetitions
- Change my diet – can be measured by tracking macronutrients or meal tracking
- Focus on spiritual health – can be measured by time spent on spiritual healing or rated scale
This one is important. Can you attain the measured specific goal you are working on in the first place? The common goal that has a harder time being attainable/realistic is losing weight. See my recommendation below.
- Lose weight – ACSM guidelines (exercise prescriptions) states that healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, though during initial conditioning phase more weight or water weight may show results of more pounds lost.
- Get stronger/“Tone up” – Yes, you will be getting stronger, but setting a strength goal 50x your current strength us unrealistic.
- Change my diet – Make sure to think about realistically, do medical conditions require that you avoid being on a low-glycemic diet? Allergies? Do you have adequate access to food in your goal diet change?
- Focus on spiritual health
Studies show that smaller goals have a higher chance of being achieved. Small goals can always be under the umbrella as a larger summed goal, much like small victories along the path of a larger win.
- Lose weight – Don’t forget that 1-2 pounds per week are considered healthy weight loss.
- Get stronger/“Tone up” – Getting stronger is always happening when working out, but a time set goal could including “lifting 10 additional pounds in my (insert exercise here).”
- Change my diet – Slowly incorporating new diet or nutritional changes is always smart. Cut out 1 bad food or increase intake of good food the first week and a different addition one on the second.
- Focus on spiritual health – Increasing time spent on spiritual health.
Finally, combining all of these facets together make a good goal for you to start with. For our common goal examples:
- Lose weight – I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months (4 weeks) by increasing my cardio exercise.
- Get stronger/“Tone up” – I want to get stronger by increasing my weight on squats by 20 pounds in one month.
- Change my diet – I want to cut back my carbs by eliminated bread and rice in the month of January.
- Focus on spiritual health – I want to spend 30 minutes of meditation a day 5 days per week during the month of January.
Let’s all create one goal! See how it goes and build on top of that one!