Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 24, 2014

SMART goals are needed to achieve resolutions

Dec 27, 2013

By MEGAN COOPER

Mt. Pleasant News

Many people say their New Year’s resolution will be to eat better and to begin working out.

How many people have made this resolution? How many of them have kept true to this?

Every year, millions of people make the resolution to start eating healthier or to head to the gym come Jan. 1. But, what are the reasons people make this resolution?

According to many, it’s because they want to look better, feel better and to live a longer, healthier life. So then, why wait until Jan. 1?

Many people believe that Jan. 1 is a time to start over because it is a new year. Also, it’s easier to track data if you begin Jan. 1. But the time to make a change isn’t Jan. 1.

Losing weight and getting healthier is about changing what you do, now.

Elise Klopfenstein, nutritionist at the Henry County Health Center, said, “Weight maintenance is about setting and keeping a realistic prospective. FAD diets don’t work, while a life-style change is something you can and will stick to for life.”

Examples of FAD diets would be, weight-loss pills, fasting, liquid diet and the air diet.

Everyone already knows that setting a goal is something that can be done in order to enhance weight loss/maintenance.

“I encourage everyone to make SMART goals, and to take time to evaluate your goals monthly to see if you are meeting your goals and if they are maintainable,” Klopfenstein said.

So, what exactly is a SMART goal? According to Klopfenstein, SMART stands for:

• S – Specific. This is the who, what, when, where, why and how. For example, who is involved? What do I want to accomplish? Where will I workout? When will I do this? Why do I want to accomplish this goal? Example goal: I will join a health club and workout three times a week.

• M – Measurable. How to evaluate the success. For example, target dates, keeping track of this information will help you feel the excitement of meeting goals.

• A – Attainable. This is the attitude, skills and motivations to carry it through. For example, your financial ability to do this, your skills and attitudes.

• R – Realistic. Are you both willing and able to reach? For example, find something that you can see progress with and that you will stay motivated with.

• T – Timely. Set a timeframe to accomplish. For example, “Evaluate or measure weekly but complete goal in a month.” This should have a date. So, something like this, “I want to lose 10 pounds by…”

• One goal must include an evaluation of all five above.

Creating goals using the SMART method will help people to lose weight and to keep it off.

Creating a SMART goal will help a person become more aware of what they need to do in order to have a healthier lifestyle. They make the person accountable and will, in the end, help them to lose weight and keep it off.

Other ways to look at SMART goals are, according to the website, fitnessmantra.info:

• S – Specific, significant, stretching

• M – Measurable, meaningful, motivational

• A – Agreed upon, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

• R – Relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

• T – Tangible, trackable

• An example of a good SMART goal would be, “I want to lose five pounds in two months by eating right and exercising in the gym so I can be healthy, fit and energetic.”

A goal like the example, gives specifics of the goal, it’s measurable, achievable, and realistic and it has a time component to it.

Setting SMART goals will give you an edge by keeping you focused and motivated throughout your endeavor.

“Remember, FAD diets don’t work, it’s about a lifestyle change,” said Klopfenstein.

Overall, now is the time to make a change. Don’t wait until Jan. 1. Create a goal that you can stick with and attain and soon, you will see a complete lifestyle change.

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