The durability of New Year’s resolutions is subject to varying statistics. Some sources indicate that 43% of individuals abandon their resolutions by February, while others claim the figure rises to 80%. Either way, many of us have personally found that resolutions fade by the second month of the year.
The good news is that our capacity for change isn’t limited to January 1st, the start of a new month, or even a new Monday. Today can be “Day 1”. Remember the goals (not resolutions) you set for 2024, I encourage you to evaluate them using the SMART goals framework to ensure they are achieved this year.
Consider this statement: “I want to eat healthily this year”. The objective here is vague. What does “healthy food” mean? There isn’t a section in the supermarket called “healthy food”. Or “I want to drink more water”. Okay, but how much? And when? And how? Instead of being vague, set specific goals like “I’ll fill half my plate with fruit and/or vegetables” or “I’ll take a 1-liter bottle of water with me and drink X amount of water every day”.
Let’s go back to the “I want to eat healthily” or “I want to drink more water” examples. How will you measure your progress? What criteria will you use to determine whether or not you’ve achieved these goals? Measurable goals such as “I’ll fill half my plate with fruit and/or vegetables” and “I’ll take a 1-liter bottle of water with me and drink X amount of water every day” allow for evaluation. You can track your water consumption by looking at your bottle, which helps you assess how well you’re achieving your goal.
While setting specific, measurable goals is crucial, make sure they’re achievable. Unrealistic goals, such as losing 20 pounds in a month, can lead to discouragement and unsustainable weight loss methods. For your information, healthy weight loss is usually between 1 and 2 lbs per week.
Sometimes we set goals because they seem attractive or trendy, but it’s crucial to question their relevance to us. Do they really make sense and matter to us? Are they realistic for us? Understanding the “why” behind our goals becomes the motivating force behind perseverance. Take the time to consider each goal carefully. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, ask yourself why. Is it to fit into old clothes, to feel comfortable in your own skin, to improve your ability to perform daily activities? The goal usually goes beyond weight loss. Once you’ve identified the overall goal, such as feeling more confident, break it down into smaller, SMART goals. A key tip is to avoid tackling all these smaller goals simultaneously. Many people have done this in the past and decided to stop their goals altogether after only a few weeks.
Set deadlines for your goals. If a year seems too long, consider setting shorter deadlines. For example, commit to filling half your plate with fruit and/or vegetables throughout January. Once accomplished, you can introduce another goal, such as bringing a liter bottle of water with you and drinking X amount of water each day. This approach reduces the likelihood of going off course. It allows you to see monthly improvements and adjust according to your self-assessment.
Now that you’ve refined your goals to make sure they’re SMART, pick just one and start working on it today. If you need additional support, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a nutritionist and/or kinesiologist.
By : Joanie Séguin, Dt. P.
Nutristionist, Clinique de médecine sportive AXiO