By adopting the SMART approach, you will have a better sense of direction in the year ahead, so if you’re currently making plans for a healthier 2019, you might want to consider the advice we give you in this article.
Let’s take a look at each element of the SMART approach.
S is for Specific
When it comes to your new year resolutions, the more abstract they are, the more likely you are to fail. Sorry, but it’s true! As you think about your goals, try and be specific, as you will have something to aim for, instead of muddling your way through with a wooly mindset.
So, instead of saying “I will lose weight this year,” say “I will lose two pounds a month.” Instead of saying “I will eat healthier this year,” say “I will learn new recipes each week.” Instead of saying “I will exercise more,” say “I will join the gym.” And don’t just say these things, of course. When you have a specific goal in mind, take actionable steps, such as reducing your portion sizes, looking at our healthy recipes here at healthyvoyager.com, and walking into the gym to begin your membership.
M is for Measurable
To keep you on track with your goals, you need to find ways to measure your progress. You will never know how near or far you are to achieving them otherwise.
So, when it comes to measuring your weight loss, you might want to stand on your weight scales once a day and then note down how you are doing. Or you might want to join a Weight Watchers programme, as they will help you to track your progress. For your exercise program, you might want to invest in a Fitbit to help you track how many steps you are doing a day, perhaps using it to gradually increase what you do. Or you might want to download an app onto your smart devices to monitor what you are doing. Take a look at fossbytes.com for a few recent examples. And you might also want to enlist others to help you keep track, as they will also give you the encouragement to keep going when you feel like slacking.
A is for Attainable
Don’t set yourself goals that you will find difficult to attain, as you are only setting yourself up for failure otherwise. Be realistic, choosing those goals that will stretch you but not overwhelm you.
So, don’t run before you can walk (literally) when planning your fitness goals. Don’t set yourself on a healthy eating course with food that you simply don’t like. Set yourself goals that are attainable to you, breaking them into smaller goals that will help you achieve the larger goal. So, if you intend to give up smoking, you might want to cut down how many you smoke each day, or you might want to try e-cigs to help you cut down safely. Visit ecigwizard.com for more. And if you want to exercise more each day, consider the distances you do, pacing yourself until you are more able to try longer routes.
The more attainable the goals are, the more confident you will feel, and this will give you the impetus to keep going with your health goals throughout the year.
R is for Relevant
Closely linked to the above, you have to set those health goals that are meaningful to you. If you are doing something just because somebody else has suggested it, you are unlikely to follow through if you aren’t passionate about it yourself. And if you try and attain your health goals through means that hold no enjoyment to you, then are going to give up relatively quickly.
So, choose the goals that are important and relevant to who you are, and find ways to make them work for you. If you want to lose weight, for example, choose those foods that you enjoy, provided they make up a healthy diet. And if you want to get into exercise this year, choose those activities that you consider to be enjoyable, instead of anything that you might consider a chore. There are plenty ideas at wisebread.com if you need some inspiration.
You know yourself better than anybody, so while you might research healthy diets and fitness regimes, they still need to hold appeal to who you are as a person. Try new things by all means, but if something doesn’t work for you, look for those things that more readily relate to you and your abilities to attain them.
T is for Time-Based
Don’t be vague about your deadlines, as you will struggle to motivate yourself. Choose a time-frame, as this will give you the impetus to do what you need to do to get there.
So, tell yourself you will lose x amount of pounds by the end of three months or tell yourself you will walk x amount of steps each day. Provided you have adhered to the other elements within this article, such as setting attainable and relevant goals, you will have a better chance at hitting your deadlines and accomplishing your targets.
Use the SMART approach, and you will vastly increase your chances as you begin the new year. But if you don’t meet all of your targets, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to wait until the next new year to begin again. Pick yourself up, start again, and adjust your SMART goals if they didn’t work for you the first time around. We wish you every success going forward.