Hey ya’ll! I’m back. Sorry I have been gone from the world. I was so busy with graduate school and I was in the process of getting a new laptop because my old one was on the verge of its death bed. Good news is that I have a new laptop! So now I will be able to post regularly and keep ya’ll updated on all things healthy! Since it is the New Year of 2014 I have an awesome post about setting goals and resolutions. We learn a lot about setting goals in the nutrition field because when we work with our clients we always want to set goals with them in order to measure the progress of what they want to achieve. Today I will teach ya’ll some basics on how to actually set good goals and I’ll be giving my list of New Years Resolutions! Lets get this goal setting party started.
A main concept behind goal setting is called SMART. Using this technique of making a smart goal will help you be more accountable for each goal that you set and it will help you measure your success in achieving the goal for your New Year’s Resolution. The S, specific, focuses on things such as when will you start this goal, what will be the focus of the goal, and how will you achieve your goal. The M, measurable, means how often will you work on this goal, how much will you do it, and what specific thing will you track in this goal. The A, attainable, looks at what you will specifically change on your habits, and you want to make sure it will be a specific behavior and not a feeling. R, relevant, makes sure that you can actually achieve this goal that you are setting and wants it to be something positive that you feel motivated to do. Finally the T, time bound, addresses the issue of how long it will take you to achieve the goal.
In general about goal setting, you want to focus on yourself. When you are working with a client, you want to have their input on each goal because if you just create their resolutions or goals for them, then these goals will probably not be achieved. You want to figure out the specifics of what you want for your health or general life goals, so find general things and then focus in on how you will obtain these goals.
Setting goals is a good thing if you do it right because it will help provide you the motivation to achieve things in life that you want to. It will help motivate and energize you to start making changes in your life. Goals are a good challenge. I like to think of them as a game. The more I achieve, the more I win in life.
An example of a non-SMART goal is this: I want to workout more. This goal lacks a lot of things. There is no measurement of how you will achieve this, there is no specifics, and there is no time-frame. It is a good way to start when making your goal list, but once you have your general ideas you need to go in to focus the goal more. The SMART version of this goal would be: Walk for an hour before breakfast at least 4 times a week. This goal is specific in regards to the type of workout, it provides a time frame of an hour and 4 weeks, and it is measurable by giving the time frame. This will help you achieve your goal and you will know if you are meeting your own requirements.
Problems with goal setting can happen very easily. When the goals aren’t specific enough, you won’t be motivated to achieve them. This is due to the fact that the goals can’t be measured, thus you don’t feel like you have to live up to something. Another problem is you can have too many goals. When you are first starting out, you need to only have 3-5 goals. 3 goals are ideal when it comes to healthy living changes, and 5 is the maximum. You would probably use 5 goals for someone who is already extremely motivated and has shown some progress in changes. Also you need to have the goals written down. When you don’t have the goals written down, you feel as if you don’t have to be accountable for anything. When you see those goals on a list of paper then it is a constant reminder of what you need to achieve. Finally if the goals are too big, you will feel overwhelmed. When there is too much to do, you won’t be able to achieve it all.
Now that you know all the basics to goal setting, it’s time for me to get going on my list of New Year’s Resolutions. I have a few different topics that I want to focus on and have 3 goals for each topic. I like to set a lot of goals for myself because I am giving myself a year to accomplish them and when it gets to December 31st, 2014, I will do a recap post on how I have accomplished these goals!
1. Write a new post for my blog every day of the week after I eat breakfast.
2. Switch my blog to self hosting by the end of January.
3. Organize my blog by having each day of the week be a specific theme.
1. Use resistance bands and hand weights 4 times a week in the mornings in order to work on arm muscles.
2. Record meals through myfitnesspal after every meal at least 6 days a week.
3. Walk 10,000 steps, measured on fitbit, every day before class.
1. Get all A’s this semester by getting 90’s and above on every assignment (achieved already for fall 2013, so I just want to keep up my success).
2. Explore a one new restaurant and neighborhood once a week on Saturdays in New York.
3. Read one new book once every two weeks.
4. Volunteer once a month at a nutrition related community service project.
I hope this is an awesome year for everyone. I see wonderful things for myself in 2014. Now that my arthritis is back on track and I’m starting a new medicine, I feel like I will be able to step up my workout game. Especially when I get my fitbit I am going to be very motivated. Walking is one of the best forms of working out. I am starting a new job at my school teaching nutrition to youth, which I am really looking forward to. I can’t wait for the semester since I am in mainly all nutrition classes: Community Nutrition, Nutrition Education and Counseling, Food, Nutrition, and Behavior, and Advanced Nutrition 2. I also am in Applied Physiology 2 lab, but that will just be fun since it is the lab only. I can’t wait for everything to come.
What are your resolutions for the new year?
What is your track record on achieving your resolutions?
Do you set SMART resolutions?