December 2017: What happens in December … stays in December

At this time of year, I typically like to give advice on how to enjoy the holidays without going entirely off the rails. This year, however, I’m leaving you to your own devices to navigate the splendors of the season — I trust you! — and proceeding right on to January. It’s important to think about the new year before it actually begins.

If you have any nutritional aspirations or goals for 2018 – and most of us do – here are my tips for turning those aspirations into actualities.

Tip #1:
Set a SMART Goal.

For those who haven’t encountered this curious acronym before, SMART stands for:
• Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
• Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
• Achievable (agreed, attainable)
• Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
• Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

This means that while having such noble plans as, “I will eat more healthfully in 2018,” or “I will eat less cheese and more fruit,” and “I will never touch red meat again!” are admirable, they are hard to measure. And possibly unrealistic. Whereas, “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables per day every day in January 2018,” is easy to understand and measure.

If you need help or advice setting SMART goals, please feel free to contact me for recommendations based on your specific needs at 203-438-5555

Tip #2:
Accountability is key. It’s good to have some “skin in the game.”

It’s generally considered ‘easier’ to succeed with a plan if you’ve committed time, energy, even money to the goal. And if you’re not the only one in the world who knows about the plan.

Take, for example, the age old question: “If a tree in the forest gives up dessert for January but “cheats” every night and nobody is there to see it, did the tree actually “cheat.”

Why yes, it did. That tree needed to join a weight management group, or keep a nutritional journal or, heck, tell some tree friends about its goals.

*Speaking of groups, take a look at our Women’s Nutrition & Lifestyle for Weight Management group starting on January 2nd. It promises to be motivational. And fun.

Tip #3:
Get the support you need.

No man is an island. Look around you. Everywhere there are friends, family, colleagues, strangers even . . who likely have similar goals to your own. Or meaningful goals of their own.

Enlist each other.

Find a workout buddy to meet you at the gym or on the roads; join forces with a family member to reinforce good habits at home; share your goals with colleagues and spend lunchtime together comparing notes or taking a brisk walk.

Getting support from those around you increases your chances of success. And makes it more fun while you’re at it.

Happy New Year!

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