This failsafe 7-step guide will ensure that you achieve your new years health goals. Whether it iss weight loss, increasing muscle mass, exercise or general wellbeing, these tips will ensure that you have a successful and healthy 2018.
- Break it down
Pursue your larger health goal in smaller incremental steps. It may mean breaking your weight loss down into 2 kilogram goals, making improvements to one meal a day or choosing to start exercising a couple of days a week rather than every day. Do what you can. Starting small builds confidence and gets momentum going. Remember ‘doing something is better than doing nothing’, a ten-minute walk is better than no walk. Be positive about your small steps to success.
- Follow the SMART principle:
Specific – Be specific with your goal. Think What, Where, When and How.
Measurable – Break your goal down into measurable elements. Defining the physical indicators of your goal makes it clearer, and easier to track and reach.
Attainable – There is no point setting yourself up for failure. Take into account the effort, time and other costs your goal will take, as well as obligations such as holidays and work that may take priority at certain times in your life. Assess your confidence and set a goal that you feel you can achieve.
Relevant – The goal should be important and beneficial to you. There is no point setting a goal if it is neither important nor realistic.
Timely – Everybody knows that deadlines are what make most people switch to action. So install deadlines, for yourself and go after them. Keep them timeline realistic and flexible to ensure that you stay motivated and on track.
- Focus on one behavior at a time.
It is too overwhelming to change everything at once. Evidence shows that making small lifestyle changes over time creates long term sustainable change. Choose to focus on one area first then when you feel confident, introduce another.
- Be Persistent
Take one day and one meal at a time. Change is hard, it is normal to relapse and encounter setbacks. Remember one chocolate bar or missed gym session does not undo all of your hard work. Acknowledge why the relapse occurred and view it as a learning opportunity so that you can improve rather than viewing it as a failure. Try again the next day or at they next meal. Nobody is perfect, go easy on your self and don’t give up.
- Write it down
Evidence shows that a goal is only an idea until it is on paper. Write down your goal and stick it somewhere you can see it daily. This can help keep you stay motivated. Keeping a food, exercise or feeling/thoughts diary can be other ways to stay accountable and motivated.
- Have a good support network
Seek the support of family, friends, colleagues and health professionals. This can keep you motivated, accountable and on track.
- Acknowledge and reward your success
Try to avoid using food as rewards but rewarding your self with an item of clothing, a weekend away or a movie can be a great way to stay motivated in the long term and actually acknowledge all of the hard work and achievements you have made on your heath journey. Decide your reward when you decide your goal so you have that target to aim for.