Healthy Goals for 2014

Welcome to 2014! What have you got planned for this year? What goals have you set? Research shows that more than 50% of New Year resolutions made each year are based around weight loss. That’s probably not a big surprise to anyone, but how many of those people do you think actually achieve their goal?

This year I’d like to challenge you to set some goals that aren’t related to your weight. They can be an achievement of some type, such as completing your first triathlon, or they can be food related such as aiming to cut down on diet soft drinks, or they can even be life related such as reducing your monthly spend on your credit card. Whatever the goal, or goals may be; to help you achieve them, I am also going to challenge you to make your goals SMART.

Smart goals are exactly what the name implies – smart! We know that smart goals are more likely to be achieved than “silly” goals (for choice of a better word), so let me explain in a bit more detail what a SMART goal is.

Smart stands for;

SPECIFIC – rather than setting yourself a vague goal, make it something more specific. Rather than saying, “I want to get healthy” change your goal to “I want to be able to run 10km”. Aiming to be able to run further will improve your health, whilst also being specific enough to indicate the sort of activities you should be doing to achieve that goal.

MEASUREABLE – To really focus your goal and to know when you have achieved it, you need to be able to measure your success. For example rather than saying “I’m going to cut back on diet soft drinks”, instead state your gaol as “I am going to have no more than 1 diet soft drink per week”. This is cutting down your current consumption from 1 per day to 1 per week and you have defined to yourself what you mean by “cutting down”

ACHIEVEABLE – This is one of the main reasons for goal failure that I see each day as a Dietitian. Clients set themselves weight loss goals of losing 30kg over a 3 month period. As much as I’d love figures like this to be possible, it just isn’t! Ideal weight loss is as small as 0.5-1kg per week. It’s not a lot and that may seem very depressing when you think of how long it may take you to get back to a healthy weight, but believe me this slow rate of weight loss is the safest and most sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off.

REALISTIC – This is similar to achievable, but it also takes into consideration what I like to call “life”. Things like a big holiday, birth of a child, moving house, changing job and other life events. Often life events can put a hold on everything else. If you know there is a life event happening in 2014, take this into consideration when setting your goal. For example, if you are planning on travelling for 3 months of 2014, then setting yourself a goal of completing one fun run a month may not be realistic.

TIME-BASED – Last but not least, make your goals time based. This may be around doing something at least once per week e.g. “improving your reserve parallel parks by doing one per week for the next 12 months” or it may be really zoning in on your goals by specifying that you “want to run the City2Surf in less than 70mins”. However time works into your goals, it will be key to you setting goals that you are more likely to achieve.

So as you set your goals for 2014, make them SMART and try to make them not related to your weight.

Whatever your goals and dreams- all the best for 2014 🙂