Get SMART with your goals

Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time!

I love this old joke as it pretty much sums up how I believe you should approach any new goal or challenge you set yourself.

This is the time of year, when many people resolve to make significant changes to their lifestyle and workstyle. Good intentions are great but according to various stats and surveys fewer than 60% of us will keep these promises past March.

Forming good habits is the basis of keeping these resolutions so that they become part of your daily routine. But how do you ensure that 2019 is the year that you finally make the changes you crave?

My top tip is to set yourself both short and long-term goals. Having short term goals to hit helps you see progress and will motivate you to continue and reach the long-term ones.

This was particularly important for me when beginning on my journey. I started my short-term goal entirely focused on dropping weight while my long-term goal was to get myself fit before my 40th birthday. Back in January 2012, I weighed in at 12st 8lbs / 81kg, which was too heavy for my 5ft 7” frame. I was a regular wine drinker, easily consuming two to three glasses every night sometimes more and I took little to no exercise.

I began by stopping drinking alcohol on weekdays, as well as reducing the amount of alcohol I was drinking at weekends. Started watching my diet, avoided snacks and introduced portion control to my meals. I also joined a boot camp twice a week and went to the gym a couple of times as well.

I did this religiously for six months and by eating less and exercising more, unsurprisingly I dropped a couple of dress sizes in no time at all. By the end of that year, I was maintaining a healthy weight of 10 stone 7lbs / 68kg.

I found having a personal trainer who encouraged and motivated me as well as introduced me to new challenges and fitness activities; such as rowing, cycling and running, was the key to my longer term success.

Fast forward six years, I have maintained my weight loss and at almost 45 years old, I am fitter now than ever before and qualified to help others make the same changes.

Everyone who joins my Healthy 4 life programme is encouraged to begin by writing their goals down and then keeping them somewhere visible, somewhere they can see them everyday to remind themselves what they are trying to achieve.

The goals should be SMART – as in Specific to you, Measurable for progress, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. These goals are then reviewed at regular intervals and helps us monitor your progress.

With some simple changes to your diet and introducing a regular fitness regime you will get results. So let me help you keep your New Year resolutions, whether they are weight or fitness related I can help you get on the right track and stay there.

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#nutrition #fitness #weightloss #healthy #lifestyle