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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

Category: Health & Wellness
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John Whitmyre is the Senior Wellness Director at the Downtown YMCA in Omaha and Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs. He is a Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist, Sports Injury Specialist, and Certified Personal Trainer. John has over 10 years of training experience in regards to fitness, nutrition, and mindset coaching. He spends his free time with his wife (Kayla) and three children (Ellie, Michael, & Layla).