If losing weight and getting healthier is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re not alone. Polling suggests nearly half of people setting personal goals for the new year are striving to improve their health, either by losing weight, eating healthier or getting fit.1 A study by the University of Scranton found that only about nine percent of people end up following through on their New Year’s goals.2 That same study found that people who set clear, specific goals are 10 times more likely to be successful than those who don’t.
In other words, telling yourself you’d like to lose weight in 2018 is less likely to motivate you towards your end goal than setting a specific goal like, “I want to lose 20 pounds in 2018.” This phenomenon is so well established that there’s a commonly used acronym describing the type of goals you should be setting – SMART goals.
Setting SMART Goals
S – It’s much easier to accomplish your goals when you have a specific target. Twenty pounds, for example, gives you a specific finish line toward which you can strive.
M – Being able to measure the progress you’re making toward your goals will help you hold yourself accountable along the way.
A – Setting unrealistic goals is one of the more common mistakes people make when thinking of New Year’s resolutions. Choose an achievable goal to increase your chance of success.
R – In addition to being achievable, your goal should be realistic. Choosing to chase unrealistic goals will likely result in you becoming disheartened by your lack of progress and increase the chance of you giving up on your goal.
T – Whether you think of it as timely or trackable, the T in your SMART goal is all about accountability through clear targets and timelines.
SMART goals don’t have to be complicated. Consider the previous example, “I want to lose 20 pounds in 2018.” That goal is specific, easily measurable, achievable and realistic depending on your weight and your lifestyle, and trackable. You could even break that down into four more easily measurable goals of just five pounds every three months. Checking progress is as easy as stepping on a scale.
Tips to Keep in Mind When You’re Striving to Lose Weight or Get Healthier
Losing weight and living healthier isn’t necessarily easy, and it won’t happen overnight. It’s important to acknowledge and accept that you’re embarking on what may be a lengthy, arduous journey. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth realizing, though. There are many things to keep in mind that will help you make positive changes you can maintain throughout the year.
Make sustainable changes. If you’ve ever tried to quit smoking or watched a loved one go through the experience, you may have seen how difficult quitting “cold turkey” can be. Similarly, cutting out everything you enjoy from your diet is a recipe for failure when you’re trying to lose weight. Instead, it’s important to focus on moderation and finding healthier alternatives. If you love pizza, being able to continue enjoying it will help you stick to your goal. This could mean indulging in half the number of slices you normally would, choosing pizza with healthier ingredients, lowering the number of fattening toppings or having pizza less often as a reward for a good week.
Having a specific plan and creating a schedule will help as well. Mapping out your meals for the week before you go to the grocery store will cut down on impulsive junk food purchases. Knowing that you’ll need specific ingredients and only buying those items will result in fewer temptations at home.
Having a specific reason for wanting to lose weight and being able to mentally conjure that rationale will go a long way towards defeating temptation. It will also help stave off disheartenment. Bettering your health for your family or loved ones can be a great motivator. You want to be there for them in the future and participate in life to the fullest. Remembering that you’re losing weight for them and for yourself is essential when looking for motivation on those days when you really want a sweet snack or don’t want to get up and jog.
Use a support system of some kind. You may not want to shout your goals from the rafters, but having a few people in your life who are rooting for you can be very helpful, especially if those people have similar goals. It’s much easier to accomplish a health-related goal when you’re not going through it alone because you have someone else to motivate you and hold you accountable, and it’s simply more fun to do things with friends than in solitude.
Increase Your Chance of Success with Express Weight Loss Clinic
Residents of the Dallas and Tyler areas who are setting weight loss goals for the new year have a leg up on many other resolution setters thanks to Express Weight Loss Clinic. At our locations in Tyler and Plano, you’ll find a staff of medical professionals who have focused their careers on helping patients lose weight without surgery. We take a scientific, safe and medically supervised approach that includes prescription medication, injections and counseling. Our goal is to help you lose weight and make the lifestyle changes that will enable you to keep it off. You can schedule a visit at our Tyler office by calling 903-592-5670, our Plano office by calling 469-786-1751 or utilize our e-visit feature to perform your evaluation from the comfort of your own home.