Here we continue our journey to finding that New Year’s resolution that works best for you. Let’s take a typical resolution and transform it into one we can work with.
One of the top resultions is to lose weight. Let’s take this resolution and make it realistic and more specific so we have a better chance of achieving our goal
The resolution to lose weight is a good start, but there are a few things you have to ask yourself:
- What specifically do you want to achieve?
- What will you do to achieve it?
- How will you know you achieved it?
There are a lot of ways you could go about losing weight. The questions about will help make the goal as specific as possible.
For the first question: What do you specifically want to achieve? Notice how the question includes the word specifically?! Make your resolution of losing weight detailed and measurable. One way to do this is to include a number in your goal. What is a reasonable number for you to lose this year? Remember, losing 50 pounds is a long-term goal, so keeping it reasonable will encourage you to keep going if you have achieved your first. For example,
“I want to lose 10 pounds this year.”
But we aren’t finished yet!
The second question involves the action stage. What will you do to achieve this goal? There are many ways to tackle this goal. Do you want to increase your exercise, improve your eating habits, or maybe a combination of both? Pick a small step that works for you. Changing behaviors slowly will help them become a habit and therefore be easier. For example, you could say:
“I want to lose 10 pounds this year by only eating at restaurants/take-out one time every two weeks. I will also exercise 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes.”
For our last question , How will you know you achieved it?, is very important to make sure your resolution is specific enough to know when to celebrate your achievements! For the specific resolution we made, how will you know? Having a measurement really guides this question because without it, at what point would you stop “losing weight”? Therefore we can once again say:
““I want to lose 10 pounds this year by only eating at restaurants/take-out one time every two weeks. I will also exercise 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes. I will know I achieved this by keeping track of my weight, writing down the days I go out to eat each week, and starting a journal of my workout habits.”
Well there you have it! This looks a bit lengthy, but it gives you a guide to “lose weight.” Now you will know exactly what to do and will feel more confident that you are capable of keeping this resolution. Remember, no one is perfect. Some weeks you will go out to eat more or won’t make it to the gym. Don’t let that bring you down! Just get right back in the game, and feel proud that you set such a personal and achievable goal for yourself that will lead you to the new YOU.
Written by Jennifer Ryan, Peer Educator