Let’s dig a little deeper into setting SMART goals. Here’s part 1 >>> A SMART Guide to Your Goals.
If you feel like you are doing everything possible to attain that SMART goal but are still coming up short, perhaps you need a reality check. Try keeping a diet and exercise journal for one week and check to see if you are actually maintaining a program that will get you where you want to be.
People often start a program with the intention of making a change, but struggle to stick with it. Remember, it is only when you decide that you are ready to make a real commitment to this change and do it for yourself that you expect results. Without a real resolution to change, you will likely encounter many obstacles and barriers that will make sticking with the program difficult. Consider the following tips if you are thinking about starting a program:
- Ask yourself why you want to make this change an who you are doing it for.
- Write down a list of all the benefits you foresee with making this change and a list of costs (e.g., time, effort and money) that will be required to do so. If the balance swings in favor of the benefits, you are likely to stick with the program.
- Identify a support system. Find individuals of significance in your life who will support your desire to change and perhaps even join you.
- Select some rewards for achieving major steps in your program. Recognize your achievements with treats such as a purchase, attending a function or even taking a trip. Such rewards will help you stay motivated during the beginning of your program.
- Visibly place prompts and cues that constantly remind you of the decision you made to change, and remove any stimuli that may trigger undesirable behaviors. For example, placing visible notes or keeping a workout bag accessible will prompt good behavior, while removing ice cream from the freezer may remove a negative stimulus.