Goal Setting Tips for 2017:
This time of year many of us set New Year Resolutions that are impossible to achieve, which sets us up for failure. Since many of our resolutions are related to improving our health, my hope is that at least one of these suggestions will help you achieve success and better health in 2017.
Tip #1: Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic goals with a Timeline). You can download a Stanford University template here in word format: med.stanford.edu/…/SMARTGOALSTemplate2015.doc
Tip #2: Choose your strategy:
The first is Going For It x 30 days approach: You are ALL IN, totally committed for 30 days – you must really be committed to choose this method. At the end of 30 days, re-evaluate to decide whether to continue for an additional 30 days. This method worked great for me a few years ago when I made a commitment to eat 90% whole, unprocessed foods (now called clean eating) for a period of 30 days. At the end of 30 days, I made an additional commitment to eat 80% whole foods for an additional 30 days. After 60 days, I was on a weekly training team and chose to eat processed cheese and white flour crackers once a week for 3 weeks. Wow, what a difference, after detoxing my body for 60 days, I could feel the difference — I was waking up with my head congested, sinuses clogged and coughing. That was it for me — I have been eating clean ever since and feel so much better, and on the two occasions I have strayed (on trips), I was able to feel the difference immediately, which gave me the motivation and commitment to make a permanent lifestyle change. You have to be totally committed to this method for a specific time period; it can even be as short as 7 days at a time.
The other method is based on The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson (book or audio version) and goes well with setting SMART goals. If you make only one slight change (.00365%) or better choice every day, you will be 200% better at the end of a year. I have several clients who have embraced this method, and it has worked well for them. Examples of small good consistent choices are: drink 8 additional ounces of water per day, replace 1 soft drink a day with a healthier beverage, such as water, herbal tea, etc, replace 1 cup of coffee per day with another beverage; alternate a cup of water with your favorite beverage. You must be committed to a longer time commitment with this method; therefore, the change MUST be EASILY achievable, something you KNOW you can achieve for a longer period of time.
Tip #3: Start with the easiest time of day to reduce or substitute. If you love your coffee first thing in the morning, reduce or substitute your second cup of the day. If you drink more coffee on the weekend, start on Monday. Substitute water or find another beverage you enjoy. Experiment with herbal teas that are naturally decaffeinated.