When coming to a new year what is the thing most of us are thinking about? What is my goal for 2023?
Do I want to lose weight, add muscle, stop a behavior that is not healthy, etc...
I feel the first and important thing we must do in creating a goal is that it must be a SMART goal. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time oriented. There are many resources out there to explain the SMAT part of SMART goal setting. I want to make sure we focus on the "R" - REALISTIC.
When we create goals I feel the most important part of a SMART goal is that it is realistic. Having a goal of "wanting to lose 5 pounds" or to "just be healthier" are not realistic. They are goals but let's look at each.
"Losing 5 pounds" when looking at this goal, what we really want to look at is, what are the behaviors that will lead to losing 5 pounds.
- Making better food options by only eating out 1-2 times a week compared to the 3-5 in 2022
- Getting better sleep by going to bed by 9:00 pm each night and getting 7-8 hours rather than the staying up until 11:00 pm each night in 2022
- Better stress management with taking 5 minutes each morning and evening to think about what we are thankful and how we can make tomorrow a positive day rather than focusing on the negative
- Come to the YMCA 3 days per week and try yoga, TBC, and cycle compared to 2022 when we came in maybe once per week and walked on a treadmill
Each of these are realistic goals in themselves but also make up how someone could "lose 5 pounds". If the goal was really to lose 5 pounds, go jump in the sauna and sweat. But this isn't realistic. By creating better food options, better sleep, stress management, and better exercise habits that 5 pounds will be a blip in rear view mirror on the road to success!
John Whitmyre - Downtown YMCA and Charles E. Lakin YMCA Senior Wellness Director