A New Year, Another SMALL Goal

In theory, the beginning of a new year is a great time to start a diet overhaul, begin a new exercise regiment, and set new goals toward personal growth.  I hate to put a damper on your New Year’s optimism, but the reality is that most of these goals fall to the way side by mid-March (and for some, as early as January 15!).  Look at the enrollment and attrition data from any gym, fitness facility, or weight loss program and the statistics will paint this reality for you.On the bright side, however, the new year is a perfect time to make small, attainable goals as with any other week of the year.  Although losing 5, 15, or 50+ lbs and getting a six-pack are obtainable in theory, these goals are unrealistic and won’t get you to where you need to be. Instead, set goals that will direct you to your end goal.   For example, it’s well known that “eating real” and “mostly plants” are important components of a healthy diet.   Setting goals to increase your fruit and vegetable intakes or limiting the amount of sugary beverages that you consume go hand-in-hand with weight loss and optimizing your health.  Taking it week-by-week is key, so if you’re currently drinking a soda or diet soda five times throughout the week, set the goal of cutting back to three time per week and replace these drinks with water.  Once you’ve got your water intake covered, move onto fruit or vegetables.

And of course, these don’t have to be nutrition-related.  With the high and ambitious hopes to write for a leading African American magazine to no avail (right up there with setting the goal of 100 lbs of weight loss), I have set the goal of writing for local newspapers in my area in the realm of nutrition and health.  It’s all about setting small goals that will eventually lead you to the ultimate goal at hand.  Immediate gratification is nice, but hopefully 2012 will bring realistic, permanent changes to your life that will last beyond the Spring!

Start small, think big!

2 Comments on “A New Year, Another SMALL Goal

  1. One of my “lifestyle changes” for 2012 is to eat healthy foods in healthy portions. I have recently been turned onto barley a wholesome and nutritious carb with lots of fiber. I think it's important to eat a well balanced meal including a small portion of carbs and have experimented eating barley in veggie soup or in place of rice or a dinner roll with a protein and veggie. By adding some diversity to my diet I am more likely to eat healthy longer than through March 15 because I love trying new things!

  2. Yes, variety and balance are key!!! Gradually adding new, healthy foods into your diet is a great way to start 2012 and will help you reach your goals. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables all contain fiber which will help you feel fuller longer and inherently allow you to cut back on portion sizes. Replacing our typically carb-filled dinner plates with more vegetables and a piece of fruit for dessert is certainly a great idea. And the journey never ends since Mother Nature has such diversity of “real” food. I too am adding to my repertoire of healthy foods (i.e., acorn squash, quinoa, and fresh Brussels sprouts). Sounds like 2012 is looking up for you!! Keep it up–all year (and life) long 🙂

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