As each year comes to a close, we often start to make new years resolutions about how we are going to make next year so much better. Here are my top tips for making sure your new years resolution comes true!
1.Set a goal. Preferably a SMART goal. What is a smart goal I hear you ask? It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attractive (or Achievable), Realistic and Timely. If your goal has these attributes, it is much more likely you will achieve it. As an example, wanting to lose weight is a very general goal. Instead, deciding you want to fit back into your favourite dress by June is much more specific, it’s measurable, it’s realistic, it has a time frame, and it is attractive because you chose it.
2.Work out objectives. These are how you plan on achieving your goal – it won’t happen by itself! Work out how often you can include exercise (again, using SMART to help you work it out), and any dietary changes you may need to make. As an example including an objective of ‘I will eat vegetables’ is not very SMART, whereas ‘I will include 1.5cups of cooked vegetables in my evening meal five times per week’ is much more SMART! Objectives should be small, and able to be achieved every 1-2 weeks, this way you can….
3.Reward yourself! Knowing you ‘get’ something as a reward when you achieve your goals can be very motivating. For example watching an episode of Game of Thrones, going and getting a mani pedi, or buying yourself a bunch of flowers (or anything else) is a great way to reward yourself for all your hard work. Remember to avoid rewarding yourself with food or drinks though…!
4.Ask for help. Having a support network to help you will make your life easier, and make it easier for you to achieve your goals. Talk to a friend or family member about your goal. Their support (as well as the accountability) is invaluable. Getting a professional’s help may also be needed. As my clients always here me say; my job is to make it easy for you to achieve your goals, by helping you overcome the barriers’. Plus it’s nice to have someone who will always allow you to vent your frustrations.
5.A step backwards does not equal failure. If we decided to stop trying each time things did not go our way, we would not get to far in life, would we? Some of the most important lessons are gleaned from mistakes we make throughout the course of our lives. As the saying goes, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’.
6. Revaluate your goals and your objectives. As you make changes, update your activities, your eating plan and eventually your goal. Continuing to strive for something helps to motivate you, and keeps you moving forward.
I would love to hear any of your new years resolutions!
Chloe McLeod is a dietitian at BJC Health.
This blog focuses on diet & nutrition generally and diet & nutrition in relation to the treatment of arthritis and arthritis-related diseases. Contact us if you’d like our help in managing diet-related health issues.