Set Realistic, Measurable Goals to Maximize New Years Resolutions for Heart Health
New Year's is just around the corner and you know what that means. . .New Year's Resolution! Every year you set a goal to make a change for the better. This should be a time of great excitement; however, you may be approaching it with a sense of dread instead. Will you achieve your goal? Or will it end up being another resolution that falls to the wayside?
The statistics are not very encouraging. Most people give up on their New Year resolutions within three weeks. According to one discouraging study, only 8% of American's actually achieve their New Year resolutions!
How will you keep yourself motivated and make this the year you achieve your goals?
Here are five key strategies to stay motivated:
1. Set realistic goals.
Set a goal you know you can achieve. If you are currently inactive, it's unrealistic to set a goal to run 5 miles three times a week. Instead, set a goal you can achieve, such as "I will walk 30 minutes 3 days a week." Realistic goals can be motivating because once you achieve your goal you can set a new one! This allows you to "see" the progress you're making. Which brings us to the next important strategy. . .
2. Set measurable goals.
Measurable goals make it possible to track your progress. For example, instead of setting the goal "I will eat out less this year" change it to "I will eat out no more than once a week this year". By setting measurable goals you can easily track if you are sticking with your goals.
3. Write your goals down.
Writing down your goals makes them "real" versus keeping a mental list. Post your resolution where you will see it everyday as a reminder and added motivation.
4. Tell a friend.
Share your goals with others. This provides a sense of accountability. It's much easier to let yourself down, but when you've shared your plan with someone else, there's often an increased desire to succeed.
5. Reward Yourself!
When you achieve a goal, reward yourself. It's important to recognize your accomplishments and treat yourself. Just make sure your treat is in line with your goal. If you want to lose weight, this isn't the time to treat yourself to an ice cream sundae. Consider other small rewards you'd enjoy, such as a good book, new music CD, or new pair of shoes.
Be sure to sign up for The Heart of Health to receive regular heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson. You'll also receive the free report Stop Wasting Money - Take Control of Your Health.