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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

 

Make a SMART New Year Resolution!

Make a SMART New Year Resolution

Be SMART with your New Year Resolution

Friday, January 2, 2015

Make a SMART New Year Resolution!

Happy New Year!  Like every New Year before, people are making resolutions to lose weight and exercise more.  Perhaps you made similar resolutions in the past.  Yet, if you are like most people, New Year resolutions quickly fade away as old routines and habits return.

Why is it so hard to make healthy changes permanent?  It may be because your New Year resolutions aren’t SMART.  Here are some tips for setting SMART goals you will actually achieve.

SMART stands for:

Specific – A goal that is too vague will not be achieved.  Instead of “I will be more active,” be specific about what you will do.  For example, “I will walk every day.”

Measurable – If you can’t measure it, how will you know if you achieve it?  Set a goal that can be measured.  Instead of saying “I will walk more,” say “I will walk 15 minutes a day.”

Achievable –Do not make a goal you are unable to physically accomplish – this sets you up for failure and disappointment.  Set a goal you are likely to achieve.  If unable to walk 15 minutes at a time, start with 5 or 10 minutes and increase as it gets easier. 

Relevant – Goals must be relevant to what you are trying to accomplish.  For example, setting a goal for 8 hours of sleep per night isn’t very relevant to the goal of weight loss.  However, making a goal to walk every day is likely to lead to gradual weight loss.

Time-based – Goals should have a time-frame. When will it occur and for how long?  Set goals for a week at a time.  Example: “I will walk 4 times this week for 15 minutes in the morning.”

Think about things that might get in the way of achieving your goal.  What can you do to overcome these things?  For example, if you are unable to walk because of pain or weather, do some stretching or chair exercises instead.

Reward yourself when you achieve your weekly SMART goal, but don’t use food as a reward.  Rewarding your efforts to learn healthier habits will make you more likely to stick with your goals and make the change permanent.

If you have questions about how you can Strive for a Healthy Weight this New Year, or if you are interested in the MOVE! weight management program, see your VA primary care provider today!

Helpful websites:

MOVE! Website - www.move.va.gov
National Center for Health Promotion Disease Prevention - www.prevention.va.gov

Brought to you by the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program

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