You have your goals set out (well, sort-of) and the right amount of motivation to get started, BUT how do you make the end result a reality?
Whether or not you’re a fan of New Year resolutions, we can all agree that setting goals is important. The beginning of a new year brings with it a sense of renewal to evaluate the previous year and gain momentum to plan new goals for the year ahead.
1. Write it down
S – SPECIFIC means making sure your goals are clear and detailed. Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve? Who is involved? Why do I want to achieve this? Be super specific here.
M – MEASURABLE means you have a way of measuring your goal. Breaking your goal down to measurable elements. How will you monitor progress? Do you have baselines? How will you feel when you get to your goal – both physically and mentally?
A – Is your goal ATTAINABLE? Challenge yourself, but also don’t be afraid to break your goals down.
R – Is your goal RELEVANT to you? Do you actually ‘want’ to lose weight? Or is that promotion actually worth it? Your goal needs to be meaningful to you and support YOUR values.
T – TIMELY means you have set a time frame to keep your journey on track. When will you achieve your goal? Set a deadline.
When you’re faced with a lack of motivation or a tempting packet of biscuits know your ‘why’. The more mindful we are of what we really want, the easier it is to implement a self-talk approach to coach ourselves and keep us accountable to our goals.
3. Fail to plan, plan to fail
Planning is essential! If for example your goal is weight loss, you need to consider what elements are necessary to get you to your weight loss goal. Do you have your meal plan set out? Your shopping list? Have you scheduled in your movement/training? Do you have a plan on what healthy alternatives are your go-to when cravings kick in? There are 24 hours in a day, there is always time to set aside 1 hour to plan and prep!
4. Set non-negotiables
As a nutritionist, I see first hand how easy it is for ‘life’ to get in the way – I’ve been their myself! From personal and professional experience, I encourage setting non-negotiables around the activities that are important elements to your success. Without commitment and consistency goals are hard to meet.
Sometimes we have to get comfortable with being a little selfish when achieving personal goals. What does this look like? Let’s bring it back to weight loss. That means getting comfortable with saying ‘no’ to that piece of cake that you would normally get with a friend, or change your local catch ups to meet at healthier restaurants where you can choose the better option. Diarise or schedule non-negotiable appointments with yourself for your exercise session or meal prep. You wouldn’t miss a business meeting, would you? Why miss a scheduled appointment with yourself when these elements are necessary for self-growth and will only lead you to success. Have a go-to list that you tick off in your diary each day: Food – tick! 2L of water – tick! Movement done for the day – tick! Feeling in control, healthy and happy – tick! Reinforcing these behaviours increases satisfaction and in turn leads to stronger neural pathway development of greater habits in the brain.
5. This one is important… fail forward!
I always encourage my patients to shift away from black and white thinking. The type of thinking that sees you having one perfect day of healthy eating, only to be followed by a slip up which sends you into a spiral of poor eating. How about we change that up? If you do make a choice that isn’t all that supportive, all I want you to do is acknowledge it and ensure your next meal, etc is on-plan and healthy! Don’t give up or beat yourself up, and always jump straight back on the wagon after a splurge. One poor choice won’t derail your results, but one-too-many will.
If you’re ready to get motivated and see your 2019 health goals through, book with Clinical Nutritionist Marina by calling Merge Health on 9889 8008.
Written by Marina Martic