January brings with it a time for promises – new beginnings, new resolutions, new year new you – however you’d like to phrase it. Despite the many names it is essentially a promise we declare to ourselves (and sometimes to those around us) that ultimately more often than not, get broken. I’m here to tell you how you make a new years resolution you can keep!
Falling Off the Wagon
Often resolutions come with good intentions of making changes to ones self and are often focused on losing weight and getting fit and healthy. Preconceived ideas of what fit and health is (typically generated by social media) is often drive for these ‘self improvement’ changes. Unfortunately these ideals are often unattainable and lead people to taking on far too much at once – trying to stick to a complicated new exercise regime and modify their diet – which is often highly restrictive. Only to ‘fall off the wagon’ a short time later and left feeling like you have failed, reducing your confidence and feeling incapable of ‘being healthy’. Leading us back to easy and familiar poor food choices and unhealthy habits. Sound familiar?? Your’e not alone!
This year its time to do something different! Its time to change our perception of what healthy is and strive for better than yesterday rather than perfect. What this means is firstly, writing down SMART GOALS (yes write them down and by some blue-tack because you’re going to stick them up where you see them EVERYDAY). Visualisation is the first step to achieving your goals.
Now for those of you who aren’t aware of what SMART goals are this is what they stand for:
S – Specific (goals are often too vague!)
M – Measurable (how are you going to know if you have achieved it if you cant measure it?!)
A – Achievable (Is it actually in your power to achieve it?)
R – Realistic (Is your goal way too farfetched that you wouldn’t actually be able to achieve it)
T – Time bound (Inserting a time start and finishing date means that you have a deadline, this creates urgency and gives you motivation of when you will achieve your goal)
Outcome Vs Behaviour
Now here is where we’re going to spice things up a little! Instead of focusing on an OUTCOME goal e.g. lose 10kg, run a marathon, look shredded for summer… I want you turn your attention on the BEHAVIOUR you want to change. This will have a FAR bigger impact on your day to day life and ultimately you achieving your goal then if it was outcome focused. This is achieved by looking at the multiple factors in your life that will lead to that outcome. This enables us to break them down into smaller more manageable mini goals – making it easier to tick them off one by one leads to an increase in our self efficacy aka we feel like we are winning! When we feel like we are winning = MOTVATION to keep on going.
BAM that is how you achieve LONG term behaviour change!
Make your goal to lose weight a SMART goal and look at all the components in your life that influence it – work, exercise, mood, social factors, home life, processed foods, fruit and vegetables, water intake. Focus on one factor at a time.
Time to take action and turn your New Years Resolution into SMART Goals that are behaviour focused with the help of our Sports Dietitian Renee