Wellness & Weight Loss: From Resolutions to SMART Goals
Set out to look the best you for your wedding day. (expert advice)
By: Katelin Gallagher
Many of you have 6-12 months until your wedding day and looking great in your bridal gown tops your to-do list of 2009. What a perfect time to forge ahead, as you set out to be the best you for your wedding day. A new year, a new you. How many times have you resolved to lose weight, come January 1? Did you ever succeed in doing what you hoped to do? While a resolution can be a beautiful thing, backing up your resolution with SMART goals is the way to actual and long lasting results. So, let’s forget about the word resolution for a while, and simply resolve to make SMART goals now and in the future, for a healthy, beautiful body for your wedding day and for life.
What is a SMART goal?
SMART goal setting can be applied to and is the foundation for achievement in various areas of life. In your work life, you may have encountered this acronym and utilized it to advance your career or your company. It is time to invest in You. Take the time to plan and utilize the necessary tools to finally become the “new you” that you have desired for so long. Whether your goals include weight loss, looking more fit, or simply leading a more balanced life, setting your SMART goals is the first step in any successful wellness action plan.
SMART Goals: Up Close and Personal
Specific. A specific goal is more likely to be attained than a general goal, as it segments the goal, and the tasks involved, in a way that can be easily conceptualized.
Resolution: I resolve to lose weight in 2009.
What?...........How? Where? When? Why?
SMART Goal: I will lose 15 pounds by burning 300 calories per day while I walk briskly for an hour at the gym each day after work. I will reduce my daily calorie intake by 200 calories by skipping my daily dessert of ice cream, and opting for a lower calorie treat. By creating a deficit of 500 calories per day, I will lose one pound per week.
The example above is a well-defined goal that addresses the questions of how, where, when, and why. Not only does it address the big picture of overall weight loss, but also the avenues that will be taken to achieve that goal.
Measurable. The goals set should be easily measurable so that progress can be monitored. This can help to keep motivation strong and the information can be used to set new goals once others have been achieved.
Resolution: I resolve to have six pack abs in 2009.
How will you know when this has been accomplished? How will you track your progress?
SMART Goal: In addition to losing 1 pound per week (15 pounds total), I will lose two inches off of my waist and two inches off of my hip measurement. I will improve core strength and muscular definition by devoting 15 minutes time to core exercise, 4 times per week.
The goals set thus far are measurable in many ways: time spent walking or exercising, daily calorie intake, pounds lost, and inches lost. Progress and adherence to goals can be measured on a daily, weekly, and month ly basis. Celebrate smaller successes that contribute to your longer-term goals.
Attainable. Select goals that can be attained within the physical, financial, and scheduling limits of your life.
Resolution: I resolve to look like Heidi Klum on my wedding day.
Hmmmmm. Do you have the financial means, time, and genetics to achieve this? Most people do not.
SMART Goal: I will allocate money towards a gym membership each month, budget for purchasing delicious, organic, wholesome foods from the grocery store instead of eating out, and stay dedicated to the 8 hours per week I plan to devote towards exercise. I will do these things to become a healthier version of myself on my wedding day.
To ensure the goals you have set are attainable, ask yourself, “Is this within reach?” A challenging goal is motivating, uplifting and promotes development, while an impossible goal is disappointing and disheartening. Be true to yourself.
Realistic. The goals you set for yourself should fit within the parameters of what you are willing and able to achieve. This is specific only to you. Your goals may be set high, but can be made realistic by evaluating the steps, planning, and time commitment involved in your action plan.
Resolution: I resolve to never eat my favorite dessert ever again.Ouch!
SMART Goal: I will substitute a healthier treat for my favorite dessert six nights per week, and allow myself to indulge in my favorite dessert one night per week.
As mentioned, determining how realistic a goal is, is solely dependent on the individual. Omitting dessert or sweets from the diet may be quite realistic for a person who doesn’t hav
e a “sweet tooth,” but nearly impossible for a chocolate-lover. Keep in mind what you are willing and able to do when setting your SMART goals
Time-bound. Set a date by which your goals will be accomplished. A goal that is not defined by time constraints, or is defined by a date too far in the future, diminishes the need for urgency and action. And don’t forget, once you’ve achieved the goals you’ve set, you can then set more goals to further your progress in that area of your life, or choose another aspect of your overall wellness that could use improvement and benefit from the SMART goal action plan. Lucky for you- you already have a big date coming up! If your big day is more than 8-12 months away, set your end-date for prior to the big day. Your routine will be established and maintaining the results will become second nature during the busy final months before your wedding.
Resolution: I resolve to fit into my skinny jeans this year.
SMART Goal: I will fit into my skinny jeans on March1st by following the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound action plan I have devised for myself. I start today!
Set your SMART goals, write them down and keep them in a place where you will use them! Store your SMART goals in your daily planner or on your computer desktop, and refer to them when you create your grocery list, plan meals, and schedule your work out time. Being diligent about referencing your goals when making plans will ensure you adhere when taking action.
And, as always, get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water