When it comes to setting goals and making resolutions, we’ve all fallen into the trap before. We set a big, ethereal goal with no real idea of how to achieve it, and then we feel depressed when we don’t manage it. It’s one of the reasons New Year’s Resolutions are considered bad for your mental health by some. But instead of setting a resolution, why not look at setting yourself some goals instead? Specifically, if you’re looking to lose, gain or maintain your weight and fitness, setting nutritional goals could go a long way to helping you achieve your dreams But rather than rushing ahead with it, you should be taking a leaf from a business coaches book, and using something called SMART goals to plan out your nutritional goals for the new year.
Goals Tailored To You
One of the important things to remember when setting nutritional goals is that what healthy living looks like will vary greatly depending on the individual. In general, it’s important to have a well-balanced diet, with each meal including a carbohydrate, a protein and a fruit or vegetable. However, once you have these basics down, what you need to focus on for nutrition will depend on what you want to achieve, as well as any of your own healthcare concerns. For example, if you want to lose weight, you might need to cut back on sugars and carbs and focus more on increasing protein intake. If you suffer from an inflammatory issue, you may want to focus on including more foods with anti-inflammatory properties into your diet, like tomatoes, spinach, salmon and strawberries. This means that your goals should be centred around you and what you want from the year, and not just downloaded from the internet or created from thin air – and SMART goals are a great way to help with that.
What Are SMART Nutritional Goals?
A SMART goal is something you will see often thrown about in business circles. But while the concept might have started there, the idea of SMART goals can be applied in your personal life too – or anywhere really. It’s just a way of reframing and fleshing out your ideas, and making sure your goals are actually achievable (unlike most resolutions). So, when you’re setting your goals, ask yourself:
Is Your Goal Specific? Don’t be vague when it comes to goal setting. The first step to developing good habits is describing exactly what you want the new habit to look like. So, instead of saying ‘I will eat more vegetables’, say ‘I will fill 2/3 of my plate with non-starchy vegetables and fruits at each meal.
Is Your Goal Measurable? If you can’t measure your progress, then your goal isn’t specific enough. Measuring your progress, celebrating your success and holding yourself accountable along the way toward your goal will help you stay on track. You could do this through apps that monitor things like exercise, heart rate and steps, apps that you can log your food intake in, and an online or paper journal to record your thoughts.
Is Your Goal Attainable? Making sure you have the tools, information and resources you need to reach your goal is half the battle. For example, if you’re trying to get more exercise, make sure a gym membership is actually in your budget. If it’s not, you can look at other options that might help you achieve your goal.
Is Your Goal Realistic? Setting a realistic goal is also very important. If it’s not realistic, you’re very unlikely to achieve it and you’re setting yourself up for failure. For example, If you know you hate to run, then setting a goal for running a marathon might not be the most attainable thing to do. Set yourself goals you know you can actually achieve, rather than sabotaging yourself.
Is Your Goal Time-Bound? Goals without a starting point or a deadline are much easier for you to put off, and eventually give up on. If you truly want to succeed, you need to set some boundaries for yourself. That means spelling out when you want .
How Can SMART Goals Help?
SMART goals have been used in business for decades to help business owners achieve their goals, and they have been proven time and time again to be an effective way to keep you on track and improve your chances of achieving your goals. But sometimes you need some help working out what those goals should be, and how to create a roadmap to success. At The Surrey and Hampshire Wellbeing Clinic, our weight loss and nutritional therapists are here to help you realise your dreams, no matter what they are. With years of experience and qualification, we can help you set SMART nutritional goals for 2020, and stick to them. For more information, or to talk to a nutritional therapist today, click here.