Sure, we start the year with big plans, but how many of us actually follow through on those goals?
As a Houston podiatrist, I want to make sure that YOU are one of the few who do keep their resolutions, so I’m sharing some strategies from the American Diabetes Association to help you stay on track! Let’s make this year our healthiest ever!
Step One: Set a Goal
If your goal is very general, increase your chance of success by writing down the specifics. For example, I will walk for 20 minutes after lunch every day. Saying I’ll be more active is great – but not specific enough to help you follow through when faced with the obstacles of daily life.
When setting goals, think about whether or not your goal is realistic. Making a lot of changes at the same time can be overwhelming; instead, try a step-by-step approach. If your over-arching goal is to start exercising 45 minutes, 5 days a week and you haven’t been active for a while, break it up into smaller goals. Keeping your timeline short for achieving these smaller goals will help you stay motivated and focused.
For example, start out walking for 15 minutes at least 3 days a week during January. As your fitness improves, increase the amount of walking you do each day and set a new goal, working toward that larger goal of 45 minutes 5 days a week. Write your goals down and put them somewhere visible to keep you feeling accountable and motivated.
Step Two: Make a Plan
Once your goals are set, it’s time to make a plan that will help you achieve them. Consider the following:
- What do you need to start working toward your new goal?
- What might get in the way of your plan?
- What can you do when you hit an obstacle or barrier?
- When will you start?
It’s important to be ready to tackle your goals and to have a back-up plan. Use this planning outline to get organized.
Remember even with a plan, there will be setbacks. Don’t worry: just get back to your routine the next day.
Step Three: Take Action
Start working toward your goals with your plan in mind. For many people, tracking progress is helpful. Keep a food log or physical activity log – whatever’s relevant.
Once a new habit becomes second nature, add a new goal to keep working toward that over-arching goal.
Finally, remember to reward yourself for achieving goals with non-food based celebrations or treats.