Let’s face it: once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, we have our resolutions and goals in mind we want to achieve for the year. Most resolutions are usually associated with diet and/or fitness, but unfortunately many resolutioners last only a few weeks because they don’t see instant results and tend to return to old habits, so we thought now would be a good time to check in and give you a few tips to help you pick back up and stick to your health and fitness goals for 2020.
Set short-term and long-term goals
We usually focus on one main goal (lose weight, get fit, go low-carb, etc.), but first, it’s helpful to spend a bit of time thinking through exactly how are you going to achieve your goal. Long-term goals are goals you would like to accomplish in the future, and usually take 12 months or more to achieve. It’s recommended to set attainable short-term goals to reach the overall long-term goal. For example, your long-term goal to lose 100lbs in one year. Start with 15lbs. per month and check off when you have achieved your first goal. If you unable to achieve your first goal, reassess and seek a different approach or goal. The SMART method is an excellent tool that provides clarity, focus and motivation to achieve your goals.
Specific: your goals should be clear and specific. When creating your goal, try to answer the 5 “W” questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Why is this goal important?
- Who is involved?
- Where is it located?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
Measurable: measurable goals help you track your progress, stay motivated and focused. These goals should address questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
Achievable: to be successful, your goal needs to be realistic and attainable. An achievable goal will usually answer these questions:
- How can I accomplish my goal?
- How realistic is the goal?
Relevant: Ensure that your goal matters to you and it also aligns with other relevant goals. A relevant goal can answer “yes” to these questions:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
Time: every goal needs a deadline or a target date you can work toward. A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
It’s easy to fall out of a routine, but if you have someone to be accountable to, you are much more likely to adhere to your goals. Checking in with someone either over the phone or in person on a regular basis, such as once per week rather than once a month. There are plenty of online support groups that may share similar goals that can help you stay accountable to yours as well as theirs.
Try not to master everything at once. Unhealthy or unhelpful behaviours develop over time, so replacing them with healthy behaviours will take time. Work toward changing one habit at a time, or achieving success with one goal at a time to prevent getting overwhelmed.
Ask for support
If you’re seeking to make a big chance, and you feel overwhelmed or unable to reach your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Investing in yourself this way is money well worth spending. Professionals such as dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers, or counselors can be great resources to overcome obstacles that may cross your path while trying to attain your goals.
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