Health & Medicine

The secret to successful new year’s health goals is an achievable plan

Jamie Robertson
Jamie Robertson

It’s time to get serious about your New Year’s resolution to get healthy. Those that tend to be most successful take the time to create an achievable plan. Use this list below to help set your goals for 2016:

▪ Identify and evaluate your goal. Once you’ve identified your resolution, consider if you want this change for yourself or if it's because you feel pressure from others. If it’s the latter then reevaluate and switch the focus to something more internally motivating.

▪  Set SMART goals.

Specific — Lose 20 pounds by walking and drinking more water and less soda.

Measurable — Lose 1.5 pounds per week, walk for 20 minutes 4 days each week, and drink 60 ounces of water daily.

Attainable — Yes, this is a realistic goal for me.

Relevant — I will feel better and have more energy to play with my kids.

Time Bound — Achieve my goal in five months then maintain my new lifestyle choices.

▪  Create an action plan. I will have to set my alarm 30 minutes earlier, have my clothes and shoes laid out so that I don’t make excuses. I will keep a water bottle close by at all times. I will counteract those negative voices in my head with positive, encouraging statements that will motivate me.

▪  Support/accountability. Tell a friend or family member who will be encouraging. If needed, enlist the help of a professional. Their advice, guidance and support can be invaluable to your success.

▪  Identify potential roadblocks to your resolution. If your desire to stay up to watch late night TV causes you to have less energy in the morning, consider recording your program to watch at an earlier hour the next day.

▪  Celebrate the small victories. A series of small achievements are the steps to the ultimate goal and should be celebrated. Reward yourself for reaching the mini-goals along the way with some new music or a gadget to keep you motivated.

It’s important to understand that no one is perfect and to use your setbacks as a learning experience. Recognize where you slipped up and think of how you can overcome the obstacle the next time.

Once you feel capable, try to encourage others on their journey as a way to keep you going. Best of wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Jamie Robertson is a fitness practitioner and a health coach at Baptist Health HealthwoRx.