As we welcome in the new year, you might be thinking about setting some goals for more positive habits. Perhaps you would like the year to be healthier, more relaxing or more organised.
Whether you have decided on some new year resolutions or are taking the time to think about these now, the best place to start is by setting yourself some goals. Then, by supporting your goals with a plan, you will have clear steps to take towards achieving them.
First, create a goal
The best place to start with a resolution that really sticks is to take time to craft a SMART goal, so the goal needs to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-specific. Let’s look at these in a little more detail:
- Specific – Your goal must be clear and well defined, what exactly do you want to achieve? Having goals that are vague or too generalised may not make it seem personal to you and you may not form a strong connection with it.
- Measurable – How can you measure and record your progress and success? Having a precise measure of what you want to achieve helps you to know when to celebrate your success of reaching your goal. E.g. set a goal of how many times a week you want to exercise vs. setting a general goal of ‘getting fit’.
- Achievable – What skills and/or support do you need to achieve your goal? When working towards achieving your goals, you may need help from others, or you might need some specific resources, don’t be afraid to ask for help to achieve your goal.
- Realistic – Is the goal reasonable, can you reach it, or do you need to break it down into smaller goals? Some goals may feel like they are way out of reach, however, when you set smaller goals, they are more likely to be accomplished. Although, still ensure the goal is challenging, setting a goal which can be easily achieved may feel anticlimactic when it’s reached.
- Time-specific – When do you want to achieve your goal by? Having time bound goals can help to motivate you to work towards achieving them and this helps to determine when you can celebrate your successes.
An example of putting this all together to set a SMART goal could be changing a goal of ‘I will be more healthy this year’ to:
‘This year I will eat more healthily by including 2 cups of vegetables at lunch and 2 cups of vegetables at dinner every day.’
Then, find your ‘Why’
Ask yourself why it is important to achieve your goal. Having an emotional connection to your goal will make it more meaningful, which can increase your motivation to achieve it.
Take action and make a plan
Now that you know your goal, what specific changes do you need to make to your current habits to achieve it? For weight loss goals, break it down into food, body and mind and set a plan for each.
- Food – What foods do you need to eat more of? What foods do you need to eat less of?
- Body – What activity, or activities will you do to move more? There might also be some activities you would like to do less of, such as watching TV. See our tips for easy ways to increase your activity throughout the day.
- Mind – What positive, encouraging words and thoughts can you offer yourself? How will you reward yourself for your progress, your success and how can you be kind to your body?
Visualise the outcome
Visualising yourself when you’ve reached your goal can help with motivation along the way. Write down how you would like to look. Will you look healthier, happier, younger, more confident? How would you like to feel? Will you be happy, proud, accomplished, inspired, energised?
Start the new year off by creating your own set of SMART goals, and then map out a supporting plan to get you started on the path to achieving those goals.
If you need a little help along the way, call Jenny Craig, to find out how our personal Coaches can help you achieve your weight loss goals!