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In the lead up to the end of the year, and with Spring kicking into gear, we often rethink our health and fitness and institute new goals. You may be putting together a plan to eat a healthier diet, exercise more, learn a new skill or train in preparation for an event. Thinking about how you do this may help bring about greater success with this. Here are some quick tips for success in achieving your goals…

  • It also helps to have structure to your goals.

You have probably heard of the SMART acronym

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
  • Achievable – outcome needs to be realistic, breaking longer term goals into ‘chunks’ can help.
  • Results based – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

 

  • Write your resolutions down

Research shows that committing them to paper significantly increases your chance of success compared to just taking a mental note.

  • Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep interferes with your ability to stay on course with a range of health based initiatives, including making healthier food choices and doing more exercise. Sleep deprivation triggers physiological changes in the body, which means making the ‘right’ choice is more challenging. Perhaps consider your sleep hygiene efforts to assist with this.

  • Share your plans with a friend

It’s a strategy that makes you 10 percent more likely to keep your resolutions. Go one better by giving your friend regular updates about how you’re going too. While 43 percent of people who write their goals down achieve them, 76 percent of people who keep their friends in the loop about their progress as well, are successful.

  • Start on the first of the month

It’s a day that acts as a mental signpost for ‘new beginnings’. Compared to embarking on a resolution on any given day, it’s more likely to stick…

  • Realise that the first 6 weeks will be the hardest

That’s how long it takes for a new activity, routine or behaviour to become a habit. Make the effort to keep going for 42 days and you’ll be much more likely to succeed in the long term.

 

References:

Good Health magazine, July 2017 p30-31.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

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