Is “eating healthier and losing weight” one of your New Year resolutions?  If so, be sure to set simple and sustainable strategies to achieve the end result.  Start with SMART goals.  When you create SMART goals you develop an actual plan rather than a general statement that is easy to blow off.

S – Specific.  Take into consideration the who, what, when, where, and why. Who is your accountability partner?  What are you going to change?  When, or how often, will you make these changes?  Where will you accomplish these goals? Why are you wanting to make these changes? The ‘why’ is HUGE and is often the driving force to meeting your goal.  (Find your why!)

M – Measurable.  You need to be able to measure your goals to see your progress. For example, you may want to eat a serving of fruit or vegetable at each meal for one week.   Track your progress in a food diary (e.g., FitnesssPal).  You can refer back at the end of the week to see if you met your goal.

A – Attainable.  This is key.   Create small steps so that the end goal is easier to achieve. For example, you may want to lose 30 pounds, but that takes a lot of hard work and time. You may get discouraged if you have to wait that long to see any positive results. Instead, set an attainable goal of losing 1 or 2 pounds in one week.

R – Realistic.  Set goals you know you will be able to meet making your goal realistic.  If you have a sweet tooth, giving up desserts is not realistic.  Instead, allow yourself one cookie or brownie on the weekend.

T – Timely.  Sometimes setting a goal that will take months to complete can seem unrealistic or easy to forget about. Setting smaller goals in shorter time frames can ensure your main goal is not forgotten.

Need ideas on nutrition and fitness goals?  Here are some SMART goals to consider.

I will walk outside for 20 minutes a day three times a week with my friend/spouse for two weeks.

I will eat a whole serving of whole fruit (orange, apple, kiwi, etc.) with a palm-full of nuts (almonds) for an afternoon snack for three weeks.

I will drink only water and no other beverages with breakfast, lunch and dinner for two weeks. (If coffee is a must, then choose lunch and dinner).

I will eat fish for lunch/dinner once a week for four weeks.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019!