We’re well into the new year and for many of us, sticking to our new year’s resolution was tough. One of the reasons for this is because we set dead man goals- goals that only a dead man can achieve. This includes going cold turkey on chocolate or vowing to cut out carbohydrates.
To help you get back on track and set goals that are clearer and more achievable, this article will help you learn how to set SMART goals.
SMART Goals are specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
1. Get specific: Ask yourself what goal/behaviour do I want to achieve?
Why is it important to me? When we set out to eat healthier or lose weight, we often are NOT specific enough about our goals and what behaviours we want to focus on.
If you want to lose weight, you might start with “I want to lose 5kg in one month”, but it might be also more helpful to choose a behaviour to change. Your goal might be to commit to eating more non-starchy vegetables at lunch. This helps take the focus off the weight and put in onto your behaviours – something you can control.
You might choose 1 cup of salad at lunch time and 2 cups of cooked veggies at dinner time. Eating the recommended 5 serves of vegetables will allow you to feel more satisfied and reduce the amount of calories you’re eating, which can help you lose weight.
Contact us to set more specific goals for changes.
2. Find a way to Measure it:
You can also make your own habit tracker and tick off eating vegetables at lunch and dinner every day.
3. Check that your goal is Achievable:
Think about things that might get in the way of you achieving the goal e.g. not having enough money, no time to go shopping and cook, your cooking skills, access to a kitchen.
How will you overcome it?
For example, if buying fresh vegetables is too expensive or it goes off too fast, you might choose to buy frozen vegetables.
4. Relevant: Does this goal really matter to you?
Why is achieving this goal so important to you? Will it help you feel more energised or confident? Or perhaps, being strong and active is important so that you can play with your children or go on hikes?
Most of the times, making positive health changes, also helps improve the quality of our lives and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Think hard about this one and when things get tough, you can come back to your WHY?
Don’t wait until next year to start again! Give yourself a time limit and be kind!
It often takes a while, at least 2-3 weeks, to settle into our habits. Changing your health doesn’t happen overnight but staying committed week after week will help you to achieve your goals.
For example, you might want to eat vegetables every single day for two months and measure changes in your weight. I will track by taking photos of my meals and weighing myself fortnightly. I will re-evaluate and adjust in 4 weeks.
As dietitian, we often set SMART goals with client to assit in behavioual change. Allowing clients to tick off small changes and few months later it makes a big difference with their habits, eating pattern and thus better lifestyle !
Contact your local dietitian or Contact us if you are struggling to make a difference or maintain your changes.