Do you have some bad habits you’d like to get rid of or some new habits you would like to implement? I imagine that for most of us the answer to that question is an adamant “yes…always!” Think about it–how many of you plan New Year’s Resolutions or come up with a list of annual goals? Goal setting is highly effective in itself, mind you, as “people who explicity make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t.” However, forming habits to accomplish those goals is not always easy to establish, especially those concerning health habits. In fact, the number one New Year’s Resolution to be made and broke is “to lose weight.” Pair that with the statistic that at least 88 percent of New Year’s Resolutions are never achieved and we could easily return to the conclusion, “What’s the point?!”
If you’ve ever followed Money Saving Mom, you know that she is a big advocate of SMART goals and for good reason. SMART goals are different from your typical New Year’s Resolution whims. These goals have weight. In fact, this guide for goal setting has been used by Paul J. Meyer, Zig Zigler, and Steven Covey, just to name a few. As you can tell by their famous names, if it has helped them, then surely this form of goal setting can help us as we form some new healthy habits.
What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?
Smart goals are:
- Express your desired habit in a positive way. For example, instead of saying “I have to get up really early in the morning,” say “I am looking forward to getting up early in the morning because I will get to have some me-time and God-time before the kids get up.” That also goes to say, instead of saying you are going to get rid of a bad habit, try focusing on a positive habit to replace the negative one as an action will still be involved.
- Be flexible. Not every day is perfect. You are going to have some down days. When someone is overcoming an addictive behavior such as drunkenness, patients are often asked to count how many days they have been sober. Occasionally patients have set-backs but those that try again often find that following each set-back comes a longer period of sobriety until they have survived years upon years without a drink. The same goes with those of us forming healthy habits. After all, that’s all our negative habits (such as the eating of too much sugar or not exercising) are– just another form of an addictive behavior, one that is more accepted in society although not much healthier. For me, I went 3 days without any form of sugar this week. Next week I’m hoping for 5.
- Set a plan of action. How are you going to start to implement the action you want to become a habit? Will you get up 30 minutes earlier so you can walk on the treadmill before everyone else gets up? Will you cook all your meals in one sitting and portion them out so you will not go over your calorie count? What’s your plan?
- Connect with positive influences. Find someone who will help you stay accountable. Tell them your goals and ask them to check in with you on a regular basis. You, my friends are my accountability partners.
- Know that it will be uncomfortable for awhile. Your body may not be used to the exercise or the types of foods you will be choosing to consume. It takes time for your body to adjust just as it takes time for your mind to adjust. Don’t worry. You will eventually get used to it. In fact, you may even start to like it.
- Celebrate. Habits are best formed when they are rewarding. What reward will you give yourself for exercising for 30 minutes 6 days in a row? 21 days? 40 days? For my reward at the end of these twelve weeks, I look forward to buying a new dress (hopefully a size or two smaller) in preparation for the Christmas season.
Week 1’s Goals
This week I did great until we went to visit family on Saturday. Let’s just say that family gatherings, snack tables, and homemade desserts do not make a good combination for someone who is in their first week of trying to eat healthy. I tried to eat in moderation but for that very fact I didn’t quite accomplish #4. Even so, I feel pretty good about this week.
- Complete Week 7 C25K program using the C25K app.
- Begin 7 Weeks to Fitness Prep Week 1.
- Drink 96 ounces of water daily.
- Choose fruit desserts instead of sugary options.
- Sign up for my 5k goal race.
Pounds lost this week: 2 lbs.
Monday: When forming a new eating schedule it may take awhile for your stomach and brain to get used to it.
Tuesday: When you drink a lot of water you go to the bathroom a LOT more.
Wednesday: Stressful situations are my sweet tooth trigger. Ugh.
Thursday: Running does get easier if you stick with it.
Friday: The more you exercise the hungrier you become.
Saturday: Trying out some new scenery can make you run faster or encourage you to go farther than you originally planned.
Sunday: Sugar is addicting. Once you have it, you automatically want more.
This Week’s Goals
- Complete Week 8 C25K program
- Complete Week 2 of 7 Weeks to Fitness Prep Week 2.
- Have a fruit dessert every night for supper
- Drink 96 ounces of water daily.
- Get up consistently by 5:30 a.m. so I have plenty of time to complete my morning routine before the girls wake up
What are your S.M.A.R.T. goals for the week? Do you have any healthy habits you are working on in your life? If so, please share in the comments below. Also, this week I hope you’ll create your plan of action and make plans now to share them with us next week. How are you going to turn those goals into habits? As the saying goes, “those who fail to plan, plan to fail” and we are on our way to change. We don’t want to fail. We can’t fail! With God we can make the change. Have a great week!
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