Achieving big goals starts with setting small ones

Setting small achievable goals can increase motivation and likelihood of success.

As a new year begins one of the most common resolutions that people make is to lose weight. Stores and media will be filled with the newest way to lose those unwanted pounds quickly and have fun while doing it. Let's think realistically about what the media claims and about the resolutions that we make. Take the following tips into consideration before jumping into a new adventure towards a new you.

  1. There is no magic pill or device that will melt off weight and get you into top physical condition. Keeping track of what and how much you eat and adding physical activity into your lifestyle is a good start to losing weight. If you are planning to work hard for a short period of time to get the weight off, what are you planning to do after you reach your goal to keep the weight off for good?
  2. Have a plan. Any change that you make towards weight loss should be a change that you can adapt to and incorporate into your lifestyle for the rest of your life. For example, eating a very low-calorie diet of only specific foods may create weight loss for a short time, but it may ultimately lead to an increase of unhealthy side effects like splurging on favorite foods, hunger, irritability and nutrient deficiency.
  3. Small steps. Long-term changes happen by incorporating small realistic changes into your lifestyle and practicing them. Habits are adapted over time by repeating them over and over. Unhealthy habits start by enjoying or “treating” yourself to an occasional food over and over until you find it difficult to stop. Change does not happen overnight nor is it easy. Change can be stressful so make sure you have a plan for those challenging times when something interrupts your process of making a healthy change. Practice those healthy changes.

Try setting realistic goals for the new year. Set small goals that you can achieve that pave the way towards a bigger goal. If you think your resolution should be to lose weight, maybe that is actually your outcome. Your resolution might be to decreasing portion sizes or budget how much fat you eat each day and by incorporating this into your lifestyle, you can start losing weight. Remember, to increase your chances of success, avoid setting too many goals or goals that are too big. 

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