When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, health goals remain at the top of our ‘to do’ list. Whether it’s shedding those extra Christmas kilos, parting ways with junk food, or dusting the cobwebs off your gym membership card (perhaps even locating it first), New Year’s resolutions offer the prospect of positive life changes. Whilst these resolutions come from a place of good intentions, unfortunately they rarely come to full fruition. Amid the hustle and bustle of life, it can be hard to stay motivated and on track when a curve ball is thrown your way! To improve your chances, let’s look at several strategies that can help you achieve, but more importantly maintain, your health goals for this year.
Set Your Sights on What Motivates You
Set goals that draw on your personal motivations and let these drive you. You will undoubtedly come face-to-face with desires that distract you from your goal, such as that delicious slice of chocolate cake or a burning desire for couch time rather than dragging yourself to the gym. However, if you maintain a strong sense of why you want to reach your goal, you will find it easier to resist temptations.
Research shows that self-motivated goals are more likely to be achieved,1 so gain clarity on what drives you and remind yourself of this when temptation comes your way.
Be a SMARTy Pants
Goals are easier to reach if they are SMART, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and with a Timeframe. The SMART goal-setting framework allows you to set clear goals and understand when you are on track to reach them. Click here for more information and assistance with creating your own SMART goals.
Choosing goals that are broad or unrealistic can set yourself up for crushing failure, whereas setting specific health goals can help guide you to success. To illustrate this, let’s look at weight loss as an example. A recent study found that people who set a specific weight loss goal lost an average of 1.5 kg more than those who didn’t,2 while another study found that goal setters were 10 times more likely to lose 10% of their original body weight than non-goal setters.3 It is worth pointing out that participants in both studies received coaching from qualified healthcare Practitioners, so getting help is important.
Track Your Progress as Diligently as You Track Your Insta Feed
Self-monitoring is key to helping you track your progress and make adjustments to your goal. When trying to lose weight, tracking your diet and exercise, and regularly weighing yourself, gives real time feedback that helps you stick to your resolution. Have a think about what you might track and discuss this with your Practitioner, who is also equipped to help you track additional markers of health beyond a weekly weight-in, such as your energy levels and sleep quality.
Recruit a Wingman
Research shows that health goals are easier to reach if they are set with the help of a Practitioner. This is because they can help you identify and implement strategies to reach your goal in a safe and healthy way, as well as keeping you accountable for your actions and helping you anticipate and deal with the inevitable obstacles and setbacks.
Additionally, they are equipped with a cache of tools, tips and tricks designed to propel you towards reaching your goals. For instance, if your health goals are based around weight loss, the Shake It Practitioner Weight Management Program provides a sustainable weight loss strategy that can be personalised and tailored for you. Alternatively, for those who have had an indulgent year and wish to clean up their act, a professionally designed clinical detoxification program can help reduce the toxic burden on your body and help you ‘tidy’ up your diet and lifestyle. Follow the links to find a healthcare Practitioner that can help you reach your goals, or learn more about the Shake It Practitioner Weight Management Program.
Say ‘Adios’ to Stagnant New Year’s Resolutions
Whilst New Year resolutions are often lofty and non-specific, they are driven by the desire for change for the better. Setting resolutions can also provide you with opportunity for new adventures and keep you striving towards the experiences you most want out of life. So what are you waiting for? Slay your health goals in 2020 by putting these strategies to work and reap the rewards that come from your motivation and dedication!
1 Teixeira PJ, Silva MN, Mata J, Palmeira AL, Markland D. Motivation, self-determination, and long-term weight control. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2012 Dec;9(1):22.
2 O’Hara BJ, Gale J, McGill B, Bauman A, Hebden L, Allman-Farinelli M, et al. Weight-Related Goal Setting in a Telephone-Based Preventive Health-Coaching Program: Demonstration of Effectiveness. Am J of Health Promot. 2017 Nov;31(6):491-501.
3 Avery A, Langley‐Evans SC, Harrington M, Swift JA. Setting targets leads to greater long‐term weight losses and ‘unrealistic’ targets increase the effect in a large community‐based commercial weight management group. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2016 Dec;29(6):687-96.