It’s March! Can you believe how quickly these three months have passed by?! Today I want to touch base with you and see how you are doing with your goals thus far. It’s common to welcome the new year with a resolution, intention or a goal for the upcoming year, but sometimes our enthusiasm doesn’t last long and we fall off track. If new year resolutions are not something you do, there is no better time to improve something in your life than the present.
The first step is setting the goal. I know you are thinking that this is obvious, but there is a difference between “I want to eat more fruits and vegetables” and “I want to eat more fruits and vegetables by trying 1 new fruit or vegetable every week in 2017”. Although both goals have the intention of increasing how much fruit and vegetable you eat, the second goal is more specific and is a basic plan of how you will achieve the goal. Writing your goals this way helps you ensure you stay on track with your goal!
SMART goal setting:
Specific - the who, what, where, when and why of your goal. This describes what your goal is and who is involved.
Measurable - the how much/how many of your goal. It allows you to track your success as you can compare your results to this value.
Achievable/Realistic - how you will accomplish the goal. This helps you think of potential barriers or setbacks that may come along with your goal.
Time-bound - the timeframe in which you want to complete your goal. This also allow you to track your success, but also acts like a motivator to reach the finish line!
Now that you have your goal, you need a plan of action. I know I said that SMART goals act like a basic plan, but I am talking about the master plan. Your SMART goal is the framework for this master plan. Now that you know what you want to accomplish, and in what time frame, we just need to ensure you stay successful! The best way to do this is to have strategies in place to make keep you on track. Continuing with the SMART example from before, a strategy could be to look for a new recipe each week that incorporates the new fruit/vegetable for that week.
Other strategies include:
Menu planning on Sundays for the week ahead (check out Cookspiration for recipe ideas that meet your needs! You can also get the app on your smartphone).
Meal prepping your meals (or parts of your meals) on the weekend for later in the week. Try this recipe for a make ahead breakfast idea!
Get the family involved in selecting a new recipe to try once a month.
Keeping plenty of fruit and vegetables on hand so you can access them easily when you are hungry.
Research suggests that having simple strategies like those mentioned above increases the chances you accomplishing your goal. Even with these strategies, sometimes we fall off track, but it is important to not consider this a defeat! One study following 200 new year resolution setters for 2 years found that more than half of those who stuck with their goals slipped at least once during the 2 year period. So what made these people meet their goals? These people used their slips as motivators get back on track. This means that when you fall off track, all you have to do is remind yourself of your SMART goal and think of what strategies you can use to prevent yourself from falling off track again.
If you need some some inspiration and motivation visit Dietitians of Canada to take the pledge to take the fight out of food! If you need some additional support with your health goals contact me for a free 15 minute consultation and see how we can work together to make your goals a reality!