Getting Ready for Change
How many times have you thought to yourself, “I want to eat healthier but don’t know where to begin?” or “I want to achieve this goal but don’t know how to get there?” If this is you, you’re not alone. Often the struggle with this question is learning how to make this goal a reality. Today, let’s break your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable ones to help make your future a reality.
Start with Small Changes
To turn larger goals into a reality, make them SMART:
-Specific: determine exactly what you’d like to achieve
-Measurable: make sure you can track your goal
-Attainable: set a challenging, yet reasonable goal
-Realistic: be honest with yourself and your capabilities
-Time-Based: give a deadline
So for example, if your long-term goal is to "lose 30 pounds," perhaps one of your SMART goals could be: "I will build 400 calorie breakfasts at home using the tools I learned from my dietitian on weekdays for the next 6 months". Goals should be individualized and tailored to you. Just because something worked for a family member, a celebrity, or a friend does not guarantee that it will work for you.
Don't Underestimate Consistency
As dietitians, we see every day the benefits that consistent people reap when they stick to their small goals (like getting 8 hours of sleep, for example!) over time to reach their goals, but we recognize that its hard when you are going through the process, making small changes and want to see results QUICK. Getting routine movement, eating less packaged foods, drinking more water and calorie free beverages and carving out time to eat more fruits and vegetables compounds over time. Don't underestimate the power of staying consistent! Furthermore, we know from the 10,000 folks registered in the National Weight Loss Registry who have successfully lost 30-300lbs each long term that daily habits matter. These registrants all have in common behaviors like watching less than 10 hours of television/week and exercising for about an hour a day.
Be Patient with Yourself
This is an individual journey. Always remember you have the steering wheel when it comes to an end destination. Setting goals and revising them is part of the process. Don’t use revision as a sign of failure. Goals take time, but the end destination will be worth your patience and persistence along the way.
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