WeightSmart

Our Experts, Your Health

Instead of resolutions, make SMART Goals

Every year there are many of us who resolve to “lose weight” but by springtime we are no where near where we hoped to be. Some of us may have stopped making resolutions all together because of the lack of success. The good news is that resolutions do work. People who make them are more likely to change their behavior than those who don’t.

Resolutions are easy to make and start but a challenge to sustain.

Instead of making a broad, vague resolution to lose weight take some time to explore why weight loss is important to you, what contributes to you being overweight, and what got in the way the last time you resolved to lose weight.

In my opinion, there are two main reasons for weight loss: for vanity purposes, the size 6 jeans or for your health. I hope that your priority is your health. Research has demonstrated that a 5 to 10% weight loss can improve your overall health. You don’t have to lose a lot of weight to become healthier. A small weight loss can help lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. It can help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It can also help with fertility issues. Your knees and hips will thank you as well. These reasons are more rewarding than wearing a size 6 jeans.

To be successful with your weight loss you need a plan. It’s not enough to simply say “I want to lose weight.” You need to create a plan. Transform your “lose weight” resolution into an attainable goal using the SMART goal format. SMART goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Goals should be simplistically written and clearly define what you are going to do. They should be measurable so that you know when you have achieved them. They should be achievable and realistic, make it some what challenging but not impossible. Finally they should have a time frame that creates a practical sense of urgency, a dead line of sorts.

This year instead of simply saying “I want to lose weight” set a SMART goal, such as I will lose one pound per week until June 1st for a total of 20 pounds. Then set smart goals to achieve the overall weight loss goal, such as

“I will walk 30 minutes after the evening meal, 5 days per week.”

“ I will track my food intake at least 6 days per week using the Lose It app.”

“I will decrease my frequency of eating out to two times per week for the next 6 months.”

You can be successful in sustaining your New Year’s resolution by creating a plan with SMART goals and then executing. Don’t forget to ask for help and support and remember that success does not happen overnight.

Make 2015 a SMART one.

ABOUT
Lisa Ranes, RD, CDE lranes@billingsclinic.org

I'm a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and the Metabolism Center Manager at Billings Clinic. I became a registered dietitian because as a young girl I struggled with my weight and I have a family history of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer. I recognized that I cannot change that I am female, nor my age or my family but I can make a difference in my health by eating healthfully and being active. Helping people to become more healthy is very rewarding, I want people to know that your health is about choices and that it is up to you to make a difference. I run everyday before work with my husband and I enjoy participating in road races with my family. I also enjoy being active on the weekends, hiking, snow shoeing, and biking.

3 comments on “Instead of resolutions, make SMART Goals

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*