I relish the start of a New Year, and the seemingly endless possibilities that accompany it. A New Year for the majority of people, signifies a new beginning. Another chance for a do-over, an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from the previous year, and to get things right. Right?
As a health care professional, I see a significant influx of new clientele during this season either aiming to lose weight, eat better, cook healthier, or perform more efficiently in the work place or on the field. My advice to you if you fall into any of these categories, is to JUST. START. SMALL. Setting lofty goals will more than often lead to disappointment and leave you discouraged, ending with you flat on your face. Brutal? maybe, but honest, yes. I can say this with such conviction because I see it ALL the time. If you set a lofty goal without concrete plans on how to execute the goal smartly, failure is around the corner. In the process of setting goals, you should first ask yourself the following 1) Is this feasible? 2) Is this realistic? 3) How can I accomplish it? 4)How will I be held accountable? These 4 simple questions have been exceptionally effective in helping me achieve success not only in my personal life, but in the lives of my clients.
For example, someone who is overweight, walks into my office because they would like help with losing weight. Is this something I can help them achieve? Absolutely. However, upon delving deeper, if they reveal that they would like to lose 50 lbs in one month I have to scale their expectations back to reality. 1) Is this feasible? No. And such a rapid weight loss would indicate something was incredibly wrong. 2)Is it realistic? No. Such a significant amount of weight loss in a such period of time is extremely unhealthy. 3) How can they accomplish it? The answer to number 2 negates the need to even answer question 3. 4) How would they be held accountable? If this was a realistic goal of say-a 15 lb weight loss in one month, the client would be held accountable by adequate follow up visits, and phone check in calls from me. This will keep the client motivated, and much more likely to execute the nutrition interventions I have put in place for them.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a wonderful thing to have an ultimate goal to work towards. However, you must first examine if your goals are to practical and attainable. Remember that you are only human, so it is best to start small so that you do not overwhelm yourself. Now go smash some goals!