The New Year's message from health coaches and behaviour change leaders in the wellness industry can be unoriginal and so annoying. So here I am!! With my message for helping you to create lasting improvements by investing in yourself. I'm here to tell you to make a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) goal for 2018. If you want to feel better, have increased energy, better sleep, or feel more focused- set a goal for yourself. This could be a long term or a short term one. I like to choose one each as I'm a fan of semi-instant gratification as well as the thrill of targeting a bigger challenge. You can always reset and modify your plans as you start making the lifestyle adjustments. As long as you're moving forward and progressing, you know you're evolving.
So where to begin?
Write down your specific goal. "I want to lose weight in 2018." Maybe you could even narrow it down by establishing a measurable target. You may need to work with a dietitian to assess your current intake of excesses and deficits, body composition, health history, and then establish a weight loss range, say 20-25 pounds, just as an example. What is a realistic time frame to estimate this weigh loss goal? Will you need a specific eating plan or a defined exercise routine to complement your new food intake? Paint you're bullseye date to accomplish the goal. Say June? OK. Were movin"!
You now have established a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely goal. Well done. Once thats complete, WRITE IT DOWN! Make sure you leave it in several places- on the fridge, back of your laptop, by your bedside- anywhere you'll be reminded daily. One technique to sticking to your plan to define exactly WHY you are making these changes. Is it because you have a family history of diabetes and losing weight will help to prevent you from developing it? Is it because you want to feel more comfortable in your clothes? Is it because you want your children to take after you? All these reasons are great. And whatever your reason might be, make sure you keep that in the forefront of your mind. Focus your intention there. On difficult days you may need to remind yourself why you're doing it. Don't give up. You're too good for that.
Finding support will also be of great importance. Let your partner know what and why you're changing your lifestyle (even if it's ever so slightly). Tell your close friends. They will be a perfect support crew for this new paced race. Even a social media based community can help you stay accountable.
So there you have it- your obligatory New Years' pep-rally from your favourite dietitian!
In all seriousness, there's nothing more rewarding than feeling alert, mentally sharp, fit and strong! I feel great now- and only wanting to feel better. We're in it together. Here's to taking control of our health in 2018!